Seattle council balks at arena plan

Eight of nine Seattle City Councilmembers have sent a letter to the investor seeking public help to build a new sports arena in the city, saying changes must be made to a proposal before they can support it.

The Council wants to alter a memorandum of understanding between Chris Hansen and the city to ensure that a portion of tax revenues generated by a new arena would help pay for local transportation improvements. Currently, the proposal calls for those taxes to be used to pay off the $200 million in city and county bonds that would be issued to help pay for the $490 million arena.

Traffic concerns in the SoDo neighborhood – where Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field and the Port of Seattle all share limited neighborhood space – have been at the core of arguments against Hansen’s plan.