Seattle's bid for an NBA arena gets boost, block

07/31/2012 12:00 AM

07/30/2012 11:50 PM

One vote down and plenty more to go in the quest to build a new arena that could bring the NBA back to Seattle.

The Metropolitan King County Council took the initial step Monday afternoon, approving the amended proposal from investor Chris Hansen by a 6-3 vote.

After four hours of public testimony and statements from council members, Hansen's proposal – with a few tweaks – received the required number of votes to move forward.

Now the plan goes to the Seattle City Council, but if its actions earlier Monday are any indication, Hansen's $490 million arena plan that includes nearly $300 million in private funds and $200 million in public contribution has plenty of adjustments and changes to come.

Before the county had its chance to vote, the city took the first steps in indicating just what concessions they are seeking from Hansen.

Eight of nine Seattle councilmembers unveiled a letter to Hansen saying changes must be made to the proposal before they could support it.

The City Council wants to ensure 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 for the $490 million arena.

The Chicago Bulls and point guard Nate Robinson agreed to a contract, a person familiar with situation said. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. The three-time slam dunk champion regained his form with the Golden State Warriors last season.

The Atlanta Hawks traded shooting guard Willie Green to the Los Angeles Clippers for the rights to forward Sofoklis Schortsanitis, a 2003 draft pick from Cameroon who has not played in the NBA.

General

Penn State backup safety Tim Buckley is the first Nittany Lion to transfer in the wake of the NCAA sanctions against the university. North Carolina State released a statement announcing Buckley, a North Carolina native, will join the Wolfpack for its first practice today.

NASCAR approved all four automakers' new Sprint Cup Series race car designs for next season. Series officials announced the new Chevrolet SS, Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry designs met the necessary targets for approval based on final aerodynamic tests July 18.

The Earthquakes acquired midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy from the New York Red Bulls. New York receives a 2013 international spot and a conditional 2013 draft pick. Ballouchy, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 Major League Soccer draft, played collegiately for Santa Clara.

Manchester United launched its New York Stock Exchange listing, hoping to raise about $330 million by selling 10 percent of the Premier League club.

– Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News

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