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Seattle approves deal for new arena, could be closer to new NBA team

The King County Council and Seattle City Council both approved a deal to build a basketball and hockey arena in Seattle.

Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

After the King County Council unanimously approved a deal, 9-0, to build a professional arena for both basketball and hockey, the Seattle City Council also showed their support, agreeing to the plan, 7-2, on Monday. With both approvals, developers can now enter the next steps of developing the building.

Chris Hansen, a hedge fund manager, heads a group that plans to construct the $490 million arena, supported by $200 million of funding from the public. Hansen's idea is to build the new arena close to the current homes of the Seahawks and Mariners, though the Mariners have voiced their opposition towards the new arena, citing concerns about traffic congestion as a potential issue.

The votes of approval also went through even though there remains the threat of a lawsuit from the Longshore union, which states the agreement is in violation of the state of Washington's environmental law, according to the aforementioned report in The Seattle Times. Members of the county council, however, did say that "an environmental review will be undertaken," according to the article.