During yesterday’s convincing 7-1 vote in favor of ratifying an MOU with the Oak View Group Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien proposed a last minute amendment to strike the following language from the contract:
“…the city shall not provide financial support, benefits or incentives (other than those generally available to any potential developer) with respect to the construction of any live entertainment venue with a capacity of more than 15,000 seats within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Seattle.”
Proponents of the Sodo arena have expressed concern that this language effectively serves as an exclusivity agreement by preventing the city from considering the occidental street vacation that is required to construct the Sodo arena.
Greg Narver, chief of the Seattle City Attorney’s office Civil Division disputed this assertion, providing the following statement.
“Nothing in the MOU prevents the Seattle City Council from approving a street vacation for an arena development in SODO or elsewhere in the City.”
Narver is no stranger to the Sonics issue. He served as a top lawyer for the city during their effort to prevent the Sonics 2008 relocation and was heavily involved in contract negotiations for the Sodo MOU as well as this current document. He is a huge sports fan.
The MOU is expected to be signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan tomorrow at 12:15.
Since yesterday’s vote speculation surrounding NHL expansion has been rampant in the national media with many outlets bringing forward the possibility of some action or commentary the NHL Board of Governors meeting scheduled for Dec. 7 and 8th.