An agreement has been reached on scheduling among the three current pro teams in Sodo and Chris Hansen’s group trying to build an arena in the neighborhood, perhaps paving the way for the Seattle city council to approve Monday Hansen’s request for vacating a portion of Occidental Avenue.
KING5’s Chris Daniels reported that the council will announce Thursday a deal that that resolves concerns by the Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders that a council vote would be taken before Hansen had negotiated a schedule for how two or three events on the same day would impact traffic and parking for all.
The breakthrough will be an amendment to the proposal by Hansen that needs five of nine council votes to vacate a part of the street upon which the arena would sit. The vote is the final political step needed to create a master use permit for the arena.
The project cannot begin until Hansen secures an NBA team before November 2017, the expiration of the memorandum of understanding among Hansen, the city and King County that would secure $200 million in bond loans to fund construction.
While the chance to get a team seems increasingly unlikely, Hansen would have no chance without a master-use permit. Even with one, a positive vote from the council will also launch opponents of the arena’s location into legal challenges triggered by council action.
KING5 reported the deal prevents arena events between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and late afternoon events from all parties that would conflict with port traffic. An earlier version of this SPNW story reported incorrectly that the Port of Seattle and the longshore union were involved in the discussion. A port spokesperson said there was no involvement.
Sources involved with the negotiations told KING5 that the Mariners representatives were “very good” and “fantastic” in hammering out the deal.
The Mariners Wednesday announced an ownership transition in which John Stanton would become the Mariners’ controlling director, succeeding retiring Howard Lincoln, whose opposition to the arena proposal was virulent.
In an earlier committee vote on the arena proposal, council members Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell, Mike O’Brien and Rob Johnson voted for the amendments. Sally Bagshaw voted no.
Council member Lisa Herbold is another expected to vote no. Colleagues Debora Juarez, Lorena Gonzalez and Kshama Sawant have not publicly indicated a choice.