According to KING5's Chris Daniels, who we all trust and love, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says that the EIS for Chris Hansen's SoDo arena project will be completed May 7th, 2015. This is, according to Murray and re-iterated by us here, the most important road block that still stands in the way of the arena's completion.
Murray also told Daniels that an NHL-first amendment to the MOU is definitely not out of the question. Murray says he is ready and willing to take a hockey proposal to the Seattle City Council, "Should folks in the NHL or potential owners come to us with a different financial plan that pencils out for the city and for our partners at the county. I believe there could be an adjustment for an NHL team first if there if a financial plan that pencils out for the city." He did not say what numbers would be necessary to make the deal pencil out, but he did suggest that the NHL is more than ready to put a team here. "The NHL indicated a willingness to move here as soon as there is an Arena," Murray said, and added that potential NHL investor Victor Coleman is "an absolute Seattle booster, who wants to bring hockey to the City of Seattle."
Murray laid out some other dates as well. He says that the design review and SDOT review of the Occidental Ave street vacation could be complete no later than August of this year. He also revealed plans to find funding for a Lander Street overpass, which has been requested by the Port of Seattle, the arena's biggest opponent. He has put pressure on Olympia to get it done.
According to Murray, if everything goes according to plan, the Master Use Permit for the arena could be awarded in the first part of 2016.
According to a league source, the NBA plans to follow up with Murray shortly before the NBA Board of Governors meeting, which normally takes place in mid
April May. It sounds like Murray should have some good news for them this time around.
Sonics Rising has also reached out the Department of Planning and Development, who responded by saying they hope to have more info this afternoon. We will pass that along as soon as we get it.
UPDATE: 1:34 pm
Mayor Murray posted a blog post about the FEIS. He reiterated that the report will be completed and published on May 7. He also posted the following handy timeline.