Chris Hansen, the leader of the Seattle arena investors group that tried to move the Sacramento Kings to Washington state in 2013, has recently purchased a new plot of land in downtown Seattle.
According to a report from KING 5 News, the purchase price of $25 million was apparently well-above the land’s estimated value of $8.8 million.
That puts the total investment by Hansen’s group at nearing $123 million, with a total land mass of 12.65 acres.
What does this mean for a potential expansion team in Seattle? That part is still unclear. The NBA and NBAPA have been in talks on a new collective bargaining agreement and it has apparently gone well up to this point. There have been rumors of expansion talks gaining some steam after the new CBA is finalized, but there’s nothing concrete and it seems harder than ever for leagues to steamroll through red tape.
As a resident of Seattle — and as a transplant from another NBA town in Portland, OR — it feels a little strange to walk around a city this size and not have an NBA presence, especially one with such a rich basketball heritage. Sporting life in Seattle is excellent, even if a lot of it is corporate bankers in SoDo wearing No. 12 Seahawks jerseys over their Burberry.
Then again, this is the era where citizens should and do make it more difficult to say no to billionaire requests of public funds. There is simply no reason taxpayers should shoulder the burden to help prop up profitable ventures for the uber-wealthy.
Seattle still has a few things to figure out before they get stadium funding and thus the ability to house an NBA team.