Outside panel to advise King County Council on arena proposal

June 12, 2012

By Staff

King County Council members tapped a panel of experts to guide the council and offer independent analysis as officials review a proposal to build a $490 million Seattle sports and entertainment arena.

Council Budget and Fiscal Management Committee members held the initial hearing on the arena proposal May 29. The committee discussed the timeline for arena construction and possible costs to taxpayers, in addition to the terms outlined in the proposal.

The outside panel is comprised of members versed in economics, public finance, public-private partnerships, labor, urban development and transportation.

The members include Justin Marlowe, a professor at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs; urban developer Steve Orser; UW geography professor Bill Beyers; economist Dick Conway; Tracey Thompson, secretary treasurer of Teamsters Local 117; Charlie Howard, transportation planning director for the Puget Sound Regional Council; and former state Secretary of Transportation Doug MacDonald.

The amount of public support for the arena is capped at $120 million if organizers secure only the basketball franchise. The total could rise to $200 million if a hockey team is added to the equation.

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