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City of Seattle

June 19, 3:05 PM click here to comment > 22

Siting a new arena in the Stadium District is legal and appropriate

Siting a new arena in the Stadium District is legal and appropriate. Chris Hansen’s proposal to return the Sonics to Seattle means more jobs in our city – 2,000 construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs. He has purchased land in our Stadium District, which is well served by billions of dollars worth of transportation infrastructure nearby, including I-5, I-90, light rail, ferry and bus service. The Stadium District was created as a unique zone in Seattle for major facilities. It holds Safeco Field and CenturyLink Stadium. And it can hold an 18,500 seat arena for the Sonics and NHL. The creation of the Stadium District was an example of foresight by City planners to encourage future investment in Seattle, centering on large sports facilities and uses complementary to them – there is no provision that limits the number of stadia in the District.

In prior statements to the press and in his testimony before the King County Council today, former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck has advocated that an arena should be built in Bellevue, not Seattle. Building an arena in Bellevue would mean a loss of tax revenue, not only from sports but from other major events appropriate for arenas. And it would further challenge an already tough situation with Key Arena.

Posted by: Aaron Pickus, Spokesperson


Comment from MrsWaterClown
Time June 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm

How about providing real proof to refute Steinbreuck’s claims? He had a lot of evidence to back up his assertions. Don’t expect taxpayers to just take your word for it because you say it is so.

Comment from Jonathan S.
Time June 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm


I do not have any problem suggesting other sites for an arena, especially if there are a lot of facts and evidence to show they are better than sodo BUT the arena deal is being proposed in sodo, let’s not kick the gifthorse in the mouth.

Comment from KitsapCountyGuy
Time June 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Why would they build one in Bellevue? That would mean losing \all your kitsap people that take the ferry over. No one in Kitsap wants to drive that far…They would lose money building it in Bellevue no doubt. It’s more economical to keep it in SoDo…

Comment from Paul
Time June 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Steinbrueck didn’t have any real proof either. Building an arena in Bellevue would be more complicated, and would worsen traffic. They would have to rezone land and create additional infrastructural support for the stadium. Traffic problems are already pretty bad in Bellevue; an arena wouldn’t help. The SoDo site is already set up to handle the flow of traffic from stadiums onto major freeways, has awesome mass transit options and the traffic study indicated it will not add any significant impact. What’s not to like here? Sounds like Steinbrueck is pushing his own agenda without considering the truths about the arena (just like the Port).

Comment from Paul
Time June 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm

How DARE you question Mrs WaterClown. Obviously she is a stadium expert. Alas she doesnt like change . But remember these solid words from the Brady Bunch. ” When its time to change, its time to rearrange”

Comment from Bill W.
Time June 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm

If this arena doesn’t get done – I am seriously going to consider moving.

Comment from Dan
Time June 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Putting a stadium in the stadium district is illegal? Thats like saying you can’t build a house in a residential district.

I’m sorry but what place IS appropriate for an arena? I’d like to ask Mr Steinbrueck if the stadium district doesn’t have the infrastructure for an arena, what area does, Bellevue?? Any site that would hold an arena would need infrastructure.

Comment from Paul
Time June 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm

How about Mrs WaterClown read all the reports in the press and online that refutes Steinbreuks (sp?) claims. One would assume that most folks who really give a “darn” about this issue would have already done their research. Its not like you cant find it, even casually, in this so-called “information age”

Comment from ShahM
Time June 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm

What is Steinbreucks proof?

Comment from Rajesh
Time June 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm


If there arent any legal issues with the site I am all for it. I am a king county resident. I have read the MOU and other arena documents. I think this is a very good deal for the city. I totally support it. I urge others to read the arena documents and MOU before forming their opinions. If you dont understand then ask others and talk to people. I dont have kids right now, but when I dont want to tell them stories about how we used to have a basketball team instead of talking about the sonics that we could have. 🙂


Comment from Peter Steinbrueck
Time June 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm

To correct some of the misstatements in the Mayor’s pres release: The Stadium area is not a “zone” but a Stadium Transition Area Overlay District.” It was not created to accomodate more stadiums. It was created as an overlay to protect against encroachment of industrial lands to the south, allow limited complementary stadium related uses (such as bars, shops and cafes) with its boundary, and support pedestrian linkages to the north and downtown.. The underlying zoning is classified in the land use code as Industrial Commercial, and is with the Greater Duwamish Manufacturing/Industrial Center as designated under the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Countywide Policies, and State Growth Management Act. While the underlying IC zoning allows stadium uses, An “Entertainment District” spilling into the heart of the region Industrial Center (as envisioned by stadium proponents), is contrary to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan and the city’s past commitments to protecting the industrial lands to the south from encroachment and incompatible commercial/recreational uses.To be clear, I am not advocating for Bellevue location or any other specific site, but for an (independent and unbiased)) rational and prudent study of alternatives to precede the siting of a major public facility, that respects the City’s Land Use code, Comprehensive Plan and regional growth management planning policies.

Comment from Aaron Pickus, Press Secretary
Time June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Mr. Steinbrueck,

The following is a statement released yesterday by Diane Sugimura, director of the Department of Planning and Development. It can be found on their blog at the following link:

“An Arena Would be Allowed Under Existing Zoning

The adopted Land Use Code controls and regulates uses and future development. The location of the potential arena site is located within the boundaries of the Stadium Transition Overlay District. An arena is an allowed use in the area; there is no provision that limits the number of stadia. The Stadium Transition Overlay District centers on sports facilities and was created to encourage complementary uses, create a safe and inviting pedestrian environment for people attending sporting events and to concentrate the demand for these uses in a distinct area so as to limit conflict with nearby industrial activities.”

Further, Mr. Hansen’s architecture firm has published a letter regarding the footprint of the arena in the Stadium District, which can be found in full at SonicsArena.Com. In sum: “We can state confidently that based on our 20 years of experience in designing arenas, that the dimensions of the SoDo site will support a modern NBA/NHL facility.”

Thank you for your comment,


Comment from cruiklaw
Time June 27, 2012 at 10:33 am

Cities all over the country are bordering on from this kind of same kind of “safe“ bond guaranty by those cities that the promoters (including our elected officials) are proposing here. Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city and Pennsylvania’s capital city, for example. Don’t buy into the promoters’ ‘lesser of two devil

Comment from Douglas Mays
Time June 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

BUILD IT!!!!!!! Importantly, GET A GOOD ARCHITECT!!!!!! No generic stadium, like everyone else. NEW STRUCTURAL ICON FOR SEATTLE!!!!!!!!! Get Frank Gehry before he dies…

Also, build it 20,000 seats, not 18,500.

Comment from Bill Bradburd
Time June 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

“loss of tax revenue”?

the deal you are promoting diverts a couple hundred million dollars of tax revenue that would go to other city needs to pay of the construction costs of the stadium. the deal also takes the property off the tax rolls, further depriving the city of money.

a gift to the rich, nothing more.

Comment from Douglas Mays
Time June 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

Geez…… build it. The only reason to vote on it is to vote for a design. Give us three iconic architectural designs, the people will pick one for the image of our city.

they say tax may go up 2 or 3 bux towards a bond thing…. BOND????? Let me buy about a hundred bux worth of that stuff…

Comment from Douglas Mays
Time June 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

btw, shut up pansy Seattle. Build it!!!

Politics, there is always opposition, no matter what. In this case of Seattle process, hopefully the opposition is simply the people making sure it is done right.

Design a massively cool building, Hansen, and things will be alright…

Comment from Pamela Buxton
Time June 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Take it to the Key Arena where it should be. Hansen jumped the gun expecting everyone to do what he wanted. That in itself is telling. The city owns Key Arena and it’s the one place that would have the most multi-use. With the Key Arena being at Seattle Center the transportation in and out is already there. There is no reason not to build it at the key, unless Hansen has ulterior motives for his arena?

Comment from Douglas Mays
Time June 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Key Arena, or the Coliseum as true Seattle-ites know it as…. build the new place, turn the Key into a sophisticated live concert hall with top flight staging and sound and light built in permanent.

We can come up with a concert season just like what they do at Beneroya Hall, just some rockin’ bands instead.

Coliseum, keep it! It is an excellent sound quality large hall. Better than anything else i have seen in this country. make it high tech concert specific. the Stones could stop in and play a ‘one off’ for us. We are ready to go with a place like that. No need for 25 semi trucks loaded with gear for a show. Stones just show up with their guitars… And run a couple million dollars thru the house… which we keep a bunch of…

Comment from Ron
Time June 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I already get stuck in stadium-related traffic jams all the time trying to get to businesses in that area.

I have never even been inside either of our new stadiums.

To put a third new stadium in there seems wrong and typically greedy of the local tycoons, who already have had their way twice, including once when the voters actually DEFEATED the measure to build it, but it was built anyway. I was dumbfounded at the time.

Just try going to Home Depot once a week, and in a while you’ll see what I mean.

The light rail trains also have already diminished ability to move around in that area.

Comment from Douglas Mays
Time June 30, 2012 at 11:57 am

Ron…. you live in the city, get out of your car… You are the problem, not the stadiums.

Stadiums. If done right they sure give your city world notice and respect. SafeCo and the Clink are noted world wide.

If the world comes to your house and you have no seating for them, i guess you aren’t world-class even though you think you are…

grow up, you whiney crybaby pansies of Seattle. Seattle money has a vision for the city that is costing us nothing….

Light rail diminished ability to move around???? WHAT!!??? I take light rail and i am moving better than you, pal…

Comment from Joe
Time August 8, 2012 at 11:42 am

Thank you, Mayor, for sticking to the facts, and not letting emotion or personal attacks get in the way. If not built in Seattle, it will be built somewhere else, and will be just one more reason why I don’t visit Seattle anymore. Good luck!

PS mswaterclown has been on every message board in the city claiming no new arena because property taxes would go up $2-4 per YEAR! Yet ironically (and hypocritically) she is a self-proclaimed NY Yankees and NY Giants fan. The problem with that? Those 2 stadiums received $1.6 BILLION in taxpayer subsidies, but she doesn’t think Seattle is good enough to fund an NBA/NHL arena. Just another anti-arena hypocrite.