Every journey can be broken down to the many short steps taken to complete it. Our desire to see the return of the NBA to Seattle - THE SONICS! - holds true to that pattern as well.
One small step you can take TODAY to help us on this journey is to email the Seattle City Council and ask them to vacate Occidental Avenue South so that we are shovel ready with Chris Hansen's SoDo arena.
When you email the SCC be nice and present reasonable and well thought out points to them. Remember, we want them to like us. We want to remind them why it is in Seattle's best interest and in their best interest to see this project through as many of them have previously stated to do.
This is the right next step. The vacation of that short stretch of Occidental Avenue South is the final step in a lengthy and costly EIS process and gives Chris Hansen and his investment team the right to build a state-of-art arena to house NBA and NHL franchises. By vacating that street it will put Seattle in the best place possible to bring an NBA franchise back and creates an opportunity for any NHL investor who wants to bring professional hockey back to Seattle as well.
This is the right place for a new arena. The SoDo arena location is in the area zoned for sports facilities - it is also in the largest transportation hub in the region - Link Light Rail, a Sounder train line, three bus rapid transit lines, 21 Metro bus lines, 9 Sound Transit Express bus lines, 2 state ferry routes, 2 interstate freeways converge in this neighborhood. No other site in the region has these transportation assets which is of course why the two existing sports facilities are located there.
This area has the capacity for a new arena. The Environmental Impact Statement was very clear that the arena would have no significant unavoidable adverse impacts to the street system, public transportation, bicyclists or bicycle corridors. The FEIS found that the change in traffic volumes caused by the arena falls with the range of current experience and that this portion of Occidental does not serve as a critical function to the street grid and does not serve a critical function to maintain freight mobility. SDOT commissioned a multi-modal transportation and parking study and they found that Arena event traffic is well within the existing parking, traffic and transit capacity of the area.
Chris Hansen and his team have gone out of their way to make sure this was done in the right way. It is important to note that Chris Hansen entered into Labor Peace Agreements with a coalition of unions to make sure arena workers are paid a living wage and everyone gets their fair share. The arena investment team has spent many millions of dollars getting the arena solution to this point including acquiring the land, architects, economic studies, lawyers, traffic engineers and environmental studies. They have acted in good-faith and done everything asked of them over the past 3 + years. Now it is time for the SCC give approval to the vacation of this short segment of Occidental Avenue S. and finish this process.
Email the Seattle City Council and invite your friends and family to do likewise at:
(formatted for you to copy and paste into your email system)
Keep sharing our message, keep making your voice heard! Bring Back Our Sonics!! #GameTime