With the release of the FEIS today, all kinds of information is coming out of the woodwork, with some interesting stuff from Mayor Ed Murray.
What Murray told Jon Humbert:
What will it take for an NHL-first modification to the MOU? According to the mayor, dollar bills. What location does the NHL prefer? According to the mayor, SoDo.
Mayor Murray spoke with NHL Commissioner Bettman this AM and was told the league prefers the #SeattleArena location over Tukwila.— Jon Humbert (@jonhumbert) May 7, 2015
Murray was clear that Chris Hansen and Victor Coleman need to work on their financing & plan to get the MOU reworked. Murray's ready.— Jon Humbert (@jonhumbert) May 7, 2015
Murray: "It really is on" Hansen/Coleman to come to the table with good terms for NHL-first. If they do, the new MOU is born. Easily.— Jon Humbert (@jonhumbert) May 7, 2015
What Murray told Geoff Baker:
According to Baker, more money will be required for the project in general.
#Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told me the private financing part of #arena project needs to get "much, much better" for him to sell to council.— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) May 7, 2015
Murray told me of the up to $200M in bonds proposed for #arena: "To get the council there, it's going to have to be a better arrangement"— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) May 7, 2015
Murray also told me he'll seek "alternatives" if Hansen/Coleman can't reach deal. Says would be "very difficult" + doesn't want to have to.— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) May 7, 2015
@RPaulRogers In general. Says will be difficult selling council on any public plan and this one isn't going to fly. No NBA coming, anyway— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) May 7, 2015
Full Murray quote on MOU: "I think the terms as far as public financing need to be much, much better than the current MOU that I inherited’’— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) May 7, 2015
Have the political winds shifted since the MOU was originally passed? If so, some of this could be due to time and apathy. It could also be due to the changing of council memberships. Undoubtedly, some of this could be coming from the proposed privately funded arena in Tukwila.
How will all of this shake out? Stay buckled in your seats, we might be in for quite the roller coaster ride over the next several months.
What the mayor's office told Sonics Rising:
A member of the mayor's staff tells us that Murray's comments were intended to apply to potential NHL-first revisions to the existing MOU and refers us to a statement he made last month.
"As I've said before, I stand by the [memorandum of understanding] that the city signed which requires the NBA to commit to Seattle before an arena can be built. But given what we've heard from the NBA, I'm open to the idea of NHL coming to Seattle first. I am ready to listen and would be willing to reconsider the MOU if there is an NHL-first proposal that pencils out for the City."