The roaring you hear from those dressed in green and gold comes from previously downtrodden Sonics fans, who, along with the rest of us, officially learned this morning during a press conference including Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Exec Dow Constantine and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen that the City of Seattle, King County and the Hansen-led ArenaCo have reached agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding - which will now be sent to the Seattle City Council and King County Council for approval.
The Memorandum of Understanding, which lays the groundwork for a $490 million basketball and hockey arena in Sodo, still needs approval from both councils - actions that seem inevitable at this point given public support for the arena deal and the seriousness with which government officials are handling the situation (perhaps learning from previous mistakes).
Once the councils agree to the Memorandum of Understanding Hansen and his group of investors will officially begin the process of trying to lure an NBA team to Seattle. A hockey team is expected to eventually be sought after an NBA team is secured.
A cover letter that accompanies the new Memorandum of Understanding in its trip to the councils notes:
This proposal meets our commitment to protect existing resources in the City and County General Funds, substantially mitigate the risk for the City and County and create a partnership that will result in a valuable investment into our community and region.
Seattle Times provides this account of how it will all be paid for:
The public investment -- capped at $200 million in bonds, to be repaid through arena taxes and revenues -- would be limited to $120 million if just an NBA team is secured first. The remainder would be added once an NHL team signs on, officials said.
Once both teams are secured, the city's investment would be $120 million, and the county's $80 million. Until an NHL team signs on, the city's obligation would be $115 million and the county's would be $5 million, because the city would receive more of the revenue.
The Times also notes that Hansen and his ArenaCo group have agreed to pay any construction overrun costs associated with the proposed arena - with no construction taking place until an NBA team is secured with a 30-year non-relocation agreement.
But don't take our word for it. Watch this morning's arena press conference here.
And find documents related to the arena agreement on the following page.
Memorandum of Understanding
Find more documents related to the arena proposal on the next page...
Arena Summary and Security Provisions
Joint Letter from McGinn and Constantine