4/25/2014

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Seattle, Sacramento continue to battle for NBA franchise

Seattle, Sacramento continue to battle for NBA franchise
SEATTLE -- Seattle Design Board members spent Tuesday night poring over the look and feel of the proposed SoDo arena before giving the go-ahead to keep the process moving.

While fans feel it's taking forever, board members say this process is deliberate for a reason.

"You would expect a much slower process for a building like this," said design board member Gundual Porksch

There are concerns about plaza access. The design has it turned at a 45 degree angle, and includes a lighted fa├žade that could show videos or team photos.

"We want it to enclose and make that space comfortable. But then again, does it start to block views or create a barrier?" said architect Anton Foss.

In Sacramento, where Mayor Kevin Johnson is fighting to keep the Kings from leaving, city officials took serious shots at Chris Hansen's plan.

The city manager said he will meet with Sacramento arena investors next week to start negotiations. From there it's a race to April's pivotal meeting of the NBA's Board of Governors.

"We're going to try our best to have that to you a week earlier," said City Manager John Shirey.

Business leaders in the California capital made their pitch too, saying Sacramento has consistently been better than Seattle when it comes to fan support.

"Not only did we show up to games, but our team wasn't as good and we still showed up to games, so don't ever let anyone tell you we're fair weather fans in Sacramento," said Kunal Merchant with Think Big Sacramento.

But back on the home front, another battle that had seemingly been settled may not be over.

The Longshore Union said today it will appeal a judge's ruling that tossed out its lawsuit challenging the city and county's Memorandum of Understanding.

The union claims it violates state law with bias toward placing the arena in SoDo.

"Let's be clear: The MOU is about one location. A SoDo arena," said union attorney David Mann.

Proof that the battle isn't finished just yet.
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