• Seattle City Council meets over plans for SoDo arena


    SEATTLE - On Monday, the Seattle City Council looked at the latest design sketches and discussed permits and approvals that are needed before an arena in the SoDo neighborhood can be built.

    Council members heard that two different arena sizes are included in the environmental impact analysis: one that holds 18,000 and another that would seat 20,000 fans.

    The issue of parking was also raised. Chris Hansen's investment group, which has a tentative deal to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle, has to come up with a certain number of parking spaces for the arena.

    The NBA board of governors is expected to approve the sale and relocation on April 18. However, dates are already being held at the Key Arena for the 2013-2014 NBA season. If Seattle gets a team, they will play at the Key Arena for up to three seasons until the new arena is built.

    While Seattle leaders seem to progressing with a plan to bring an arena to town, lawmakers in Sacramento are also working to keep the Kings in their city.

    Sacramento's city manager wants to talk to a private investment group about financing a new arena, reported a newspaper in the city.

    Mayor Kevin Johnson told the Sacramento Bee that he is confident the private group will have a bid to buy the Kings by the end of the week.

    The potential buyers have not been named, but sources have told the newspaper that Ron Burkle, a billionaire grocery businessman; and Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness; are part of the group.

    Johnson said he hopes to convince the NBA board of governors to vote against the sale of the Kings to Hansen's group.

    The Sacramento paper also reported that the NBA can't require the current owners of the Kings, the Maloof family, to sell to the Sacramento group.

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