40 state lawmakers oppose new Seattle Sonics arena

VIDEO: Public hearing to be held on proposed arena

Forty state lawmakers wrote Seattle City Council in opposition of the new Seattle Sonics arena in effort to protect maritime jobs.

In order for construction to happen on an arena, council would need to vote to vacate a block of Occidental Avenue.

"This action is intended to pave the way for a professional sports arena in the south downtown industrial area. We understand the strong desire to bring professional basketball back to our state and strongly support that intended goal," the letter said. "However, that must not come at the expense of middle class jobs, which are largely created by our maritime, manufacturing, and industrial sectors."

A group called Sonicsgate film released a video in early March showing what they claim is a "high traffic" day, when the largest cargo ship to ever visit the U.S. landed in Seattle. The group's timelapse showed minimal traffic.

Renders of a possible arena in SODO were released in 2013, you can see photos here.

While the NBA has no immediate plans to return a team to Seattle, supporters are anxious to have an arena plan in place so Seattle will be competitive if that changes.

Former Sonics announcer Kevin Calabro will host a rally for arena supporters at City Hall.

The council will take public testimony from both sides of the issue at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.