Seattle union sues over arena plan

Published Oct. 19, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

A longshore workers union has filed a promised lawsuit over a plan to build a new Seattle sports arena close to port and industrial operations.

The Superior Court lawsuit contends that Seattle and King County, working with investor Chris Hansen, have approved an agreement to build the arena in an industrial area south of downtown without first completing a required environmental review.

The complaint filed Thursday alleges that legislation on a funding plan for construction will create "irreversible political momentum" in favor of the site. That legislation was signed Tuesday by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. Hansen hopes a new arena can be used to lure the NBA back to Seattle.

Local 19 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union contends that siting a third sports arena in the area will create more traffic congestion that will imperil "great working class jobs."

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has said that the agreement does not preordain where the arena will be built. He says it requires a full environmental review.