UPDATE: Nintendo of America has also sold the majority share of the team to a group called First Avenue Entertainment, led by John Stanton. The previous article continues below.
Seattle Mariners Chairman and CEO Howard Lincoln has resigned from that position. Lincoln has been the largest road block standing in the middle of Occidental Avenue on behalf of the Mariners.
The new CEO is John Stanton, Sonics Rising can confirm. Stanton is chairman of the board at the internet company Clear (formerly known as Clearwire). He previously served as chairman and CEO of VoiceStream Wireless, which was later sold to Deutsche Telecom and became T-Mobile. Stanton currently owns 10% of the Mariners, a number which will surely now go up. Even more relevant to our cause, however, is the fact that John Stanton is a former Sonics ball boy and was a member of Howard Schultz's ownership group. He voted against the sale of the team to Clay Bennett and company, and then tried to buy the team back as part of a Steve Ballmer-led group in 2008.
Lincoln stepping down is major news for the progression of Seattle Arena. John Stanton taking over is HUGE. We've heard that there has been a lot of progress on the scheduling agreement between Seattle Arena, the Mariners, and CenturyLink Field's Seahawks and Sounders. We heard the Mariners were finally coming to the table and working with the arena instead of against it. The pieces are finally coming together as to why that's happening now.
This is likely to change the dynamic between the Mariners and the Seattle Arena team for the better. While there will still be opposition, it feels like a major wall has been knocked down.
Correction: A previous version of this post listed Lincoln as saying Hansen would "rue the day" he built an arena in SODO. That quote was actually from former Mariners president Chuck Armstrong.