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Legislation signed on Seattle arena deal

Associated Press Modified: October 16, 2012 at 6:03 pm •  Published: October 16, 2012
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SEATTLE (AP) — King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed legislation Tuesday on the funding plan for construction of an arena that could be used to lure the NBA back to Seattle.

The executives signed the deal a day after a negotiated memorandum of understanding between the city, county and investor Chris Hansen was approved by the city and county councils.

"The process is still not finished, but a major and critical milestone has been achieved," Constantine said.

The plan calls for a $490 million arena built in the area where Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field are located, with $200 million coming in public financing. The public investment would be paid back with rent money and admissions taxes from the arena, and if that money falls short, Hansen would be responsible for making up the rest. Other investors include Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom department store family.

As part of the renegotiated agreement, Hansen has also agreed to divert a portion of arena revenues into a pool of money to help with transportation projects in the neighborhood around the arenas. That concession by Hansen brought added support from lawmakers who were concerned about what a third arena might do to an already congested area that includes two sports venues and the Port of Seattle.

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