With the Sacramento Kings lurking as a potential target, Seattle city officials have made a tentative development agreement with financier Chris Hansen for a new basketball and hockey arena, according to a report in the Seattle Times.
The outlines of the deal are expected to be announced by the City Council this morning.
According to the newspaper, Hansen would build a $490 million arena in downtown Seattle. His plan first surfaced months ago, and the Times said Hansen has spent $51 million buying land for the project. The city would contribute $120 million to $145 million toward the project, although it would be eventually repaid by Hansen. The county would contribute up to $80 million.
A spokesman for the Maloofs, owners of the Kings, said they wouldn't comment on the Seattle developments. "Their comment is the same as before - they're not going to weigh in on every rumor," said spokesman Eric Rose.
Last month a report surfaced that the Maloofs were negotiating to move the team to Virginia Beach, Va. That possibility appeared to fizzle when a proposal for a new arena got a lukewarm reception from the Virginia Beach City Council. Also, an executive with the development group said he'd had no negotiations with the Maloofs.
The future of the Kings in Sacramento has been in question since the Maloofs walked away from a deal to build a new arena at the downtown railyard. The family has insisted it is committed to Sacramento.
Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066.
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