Stop me if you’ve heard a rumor of NBA basketball returning to Seattle before. Chances are most of you reading this have heard one or a million of them, so when a new one comes around it is hard to take it all that seriously.
Heck, most efforts have even gotten to the stage of arena funding and city council haggling before.
However, the latest rumors of the NBA’s return to Seattle have some serious legs to them, according to Amico Hoops.
That’s because hedge fund manager Chris Hansen has come to the city with a new proposal for an arena that is completely privately financed.
However, it isn’t just that piece of news. It is also the fact that it appears league owners are making the return to Seattle a real priority.
Hansen and his team have a built-in advantage of having dealt with league owners in the past, nearly completing a purchase of the Sacramento Kings and moving them to the Emerald City. Instead, his proposal suffered a 22-8 defeat in a league owner vote.
So, he certainly is aware of what may need to be done this time around. This time around, the economic landscape appears to be different for the league and this ownership group.
“In the five years since we began working with the City and the County on the Arena funding package the economic landscape has changed,” the group wrote in a letter to the Seattle mayor’s office.
“The recession is behind us and we are deep into this new economic cycle. Interest rates have declined and the NBA has completed its new national television contract, creating more financial certainty in the industry.”
Could it mean the SuperSonics are en route to a glorious NBA return? Let’s just say there are a few major details — like is this an expansion team or a relocating team and if so, which team — to work out.
“I don’t think it’s been thought out that far along yet,” one source told Amico Hoops.
For now, it appears that things are closer than they have ever been for the SuperSonics to return to the league.