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SoDo arena group proves financial backing

The group reiterates that there is no public money involved

Seattle Arena - First & Holgate

The SoDo arena investment group; Chris Hansen, Wally Walker, Pete and Erik Nordstrom, and Russell Wilson, have released a new post on their website about “the three T’s.” Those are Transportation, Timing, and Taxes.

According to the post, these three items are the key to success for the project over a renovated KeyArena plan. They say that their location has “the best parking and transportation infrastructure,” and that with the extensive review process they have gone through, the timing of their project is years ahead. They also say that, with their plan, there will be no “tax rebates” and thus a tax windfall for the City, County, and State.

They back this statement up with a letter from JP Morgan Chase & Co, the largest bank in the United States and “one of the pre-eminent lenders in professional sports.” This is similar to the letter that the Oak View Group provided the city from Goldman, Sachs & Co.

The letter spells out JP Morgan’s experience in the field with their Sports Finance Group. The firm claims “extensive experience providing sports franchises with arena and stadium financing execution services, including in the bank and capital markets. J.P. Morgan is involved on many fronts with sports financing, and has close relationships with each of the five major US sports leagues as well as team organizations.”

The letter, while not listing a specific dollar amount, also lays out how Hansen and his team would finance the project, namely through ownership equity, the sale of seat licenses and sponsorship contracts and the proceeds of debt secured by revenues of the project. These seem to imply that a team would be required for financing, as those revenue streams would not otherwise exist.