SoDo arena investors discuss Sonics with members of Seattle King County NAACP

Chris Hansen, right, the investor who is seeking to build an arena that could host an NBA basketball team near Safeco Field in Seattle, takes part in an interview with the Associated Press, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE — A secret meeting between Seattle King County NAACP and Chris Hansen’s Sonics Arena Investment group was held on May 15 in Seattle, KIRO 7’s John Knicely confirmed Wednesday.

“The NAACP Seattle King County held a private meeting with Chris Hansen’s Sonics Arena Investment Group on May 15th, 2019. The two organizations are still developing their objectives for SoDo, there will be more to come in the following weeks,” Sadiqua Sakin, President of Seattle King County NAACP, said in a statement.

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, who played for the Sonics in the team's last season in Seattle, first hinted about the meeting in a postgame interview on April 26.

“Seattle is having a meeting to try to bring back the Sonics,” Durant said when asked by Cameron Buford about bringing the NBA back in Seattle.

Hansen is a hedge fund manager who has been working to bring the Sonics back to Seattle since 2013.

Hansen and his group of investors hoped to bring the Sonics to an arena built in the SoDo neighborhood, but the city council rejected his bid in 2016.

A second pitch by Hansen’s group that opted not to use public money was stalled when the city opted to renovate Key Arena with the Oak View Group instead.

Key Arena closed for renovations in October 2018 after the Warriors and Sacramento Kings played an NBA preseason game.

The renovated arena will be called the Seattle Center Arena and is due to open in the summer of 2021.

The arena will be home to Seattle's NHL team -- set to begin play in the 2021-2022 season.

KIRO 7 will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

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