Court rules Seattle arena plan does not violate state law


From the Associated Press:

A Washington appeals court says tentative plans for a new professional basketball and hockey arena in Seattle do not violate state environmental law.

Investor Chris Hansen has been trying to build a $490 million arena to draw the NBA and NHL to Seattle. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union sued, saying traffic congestion from basketball and hockey games would kill jobs because it would interfere with container shipping and related businesses nearby.

The longshoremen said a memorandum of understanding between Hansen and city and county officials violated the State Environmental Protection Act by creating irreversible momentum for building the arena, even before environmental studies were performed.

Per, here’s the written decision, if for some reason you’d like to read it.

Of course, Seattle still doesn’t have an NBA or NHL team to play at the planned arena. As the decision notes: “The memorandum does not predetermine where an arena will be built or even that an arena will be built at all.”

While Hansen (who tried and failed to relocate the NBA’s Sacramento Kings to Seattle) isn’t interested in owning a hockey team in Seattle, others have said they are.

In July, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the league’s interest in one day expanding or relocating to the Pacific Northwest.

Related: Here’s what hockey could look like in Seattle