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San Francisco businessman Chris Hansen, celebrating the City Council's seeming acceptance of his plan to build Seattle a new sports arena in SoDo, offered a

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PHOTOS: Fans (and a Few Bums) Come out For Free Chris Hansen Beer

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San Francisco businessman Chris Hansen, celebrating the City Council's seeming acceptance of his plan to build Seattle a new sports arena in SoDo, offered a free beer to anyone who showed up at FX McRory's from 5-7 p.m. Thursday. An amended "Memorandum of Understanding" between Hansen and the Council was approved by council committee earlier in the day, hinting at things to come.

The crowd was a mixed bag of Sonics fans, hockey lovers and homeless people. Hansen was gracious as a long line of thankful Seattleites waited patiently for their turn to thank "The Man," perhaps prematurely, for bringing basketball back to the Emerald City. Prematurely because the City Council has one vote left on the matter, scheduled for September 24, and because, at this point, no NBA team has been acquired for Seattle. That leaves two hurdles for hoops fans, the final vote and, eventually, forking over enough dough to convince an existing NBA team to make the move.

Though the free beer was not scheduled to be disbursed until 5 p.m., a line stretching half a block had formed on the sidewalk by 4:20 p.m. Bouncers checked I.D.'s as the crowd funneled into a fenced-off, outdoor area on brick-laid Occidental Avenue. There, they were greeted by a small army of green and gold-clad FX McRory's staff, standing at the ready to pour Seattle a beer. The free brew, Red Hook and Bud Light, began flowing a full half hour early, and general good cheer filled the air. Indoors, Hansen greeted his fans until, around six o'clock, a handler ushered him outside where he delivered a short speech thanking his supporters.

"In the heart, I'm a fan," Hansen said into a microphone, to which a reply was belted from somewhere in the crowd. "We're a fan of you!"

Former Sonics player Slick Watts was in attendance, as was his son, former Husky Donald Watts. Mayor Mike McGinn, beer in hand, toasted Hansen.

All present were not basketball fans, though. "I would prefer a hockey team," said Warren Yee, who had heard about the event through Facebook. Yee may get what he wants, as basketball and hockey, it is hoped, will share the new arena.

A strong police presence could be felt in the general vicinity, as horseback-mounted officers trotted around. Considering the small distance between FX McRory's and Pioneer Square -- the actual square -- it was a small wonder that a larger portion of the crowd was not bums taking advantage of the free beer.

Hoping for a rousing answer along the lines of "Bringing basketball back to the greatest fans in the world," I asked Hansen what three achievements he would have engraved on his tombstone. Hansen, perhaps guided by the disapproving look on his handler's face, took the safe route. "Wife, family and kids," he said.

Here are some photos from the event:

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Previously on The Daily Weekly:

PHOTOS: Ten More Super-Sexy Missed Connections from Seattle Craigslist

Happy Friday! It's the Top 20 Paul Ryan 'Hey Girl' Memes on the Internet!

The Top 20 GIFs of Seattle Hempfest 2012

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