Arena backer to testify before King County Council committee

June 18, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 a.m. June 18, 2012

Chris Hansen, the investor behind a proposal to construct a sports and entertainment arena in Seattle is due to answer questions for the King County Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee on Tuesday.

The appearance is the initial meeting between Hansen, a San Francisco hedge fund manager, and the council. Though the budget committee does not include all nine council members, every council members has been invited to attend.

Citizens can attend the meeting at 1:30 p.m. in the 10th-floor County Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse or watch the meeting live online, on King County TV, Comcast and Broadstripe Channel 22.

The committee is also due to meet the outside panel advising the council on the arena proposal. The members include experts in economics, public finance, public-private partnerships, labor, urban development and transportation.

In February, Hansen presented to Seattle and King County a proposal to construct the arena to host NBA and NHL teams.

Hansen, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, announced a proposed agreement last month.

The terms of the agreement outline the county role in the proposed arena project.

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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