For fans of Seattle basketball, this year’s NBA Finals had no winners. Either they could have supported the villainous Miami Heat or the hated Oklahoma City Thunder, which was their team before they unceremoniously left the city in 2008. However, there’s finally some good news to report for the loyal fans of the Emerald City.
In a revised arena deal announced Tuesday, investor Chris Hansen agreed to kick in more money for transportation improvements near a proposed new arena, personally guaranteeing the city’s debt, even offering to buy everyone a beer.
The plan for the $490 million arena, which also could host an NHL team is the city’s best shot at bringing an NBA team back to Seattle.
Though formal votes are still required, Tuesday’s announcement effectively gave Hansen, a San Francisco hedge-fund manager, and his fellow investors, including Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Peter and Erik Nordstrom of the department store that bears their last name.
As painful as it was to see the Thunder in the Finals, fans in Seattle may have a team to cheer for in the near future.