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Russell Wilson Backs Sodo Arena Push

Seattle Sonics

Chris Hansen has some star power behind his push for a new Sodo arena, as Seattle Seawhawks quarterback Russell Wilson is joining Sonics Arena Group

Hansen announced recently that he was looking to privately finance an arena in Sodo, the same section of Seattle that includes the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field and the Mariners’ Safeco Field. Wilson will be joining his investment group as a partner.

Wilson is known to favor Seattle’s efforts to attract an NBA and/or NHL franchise, and had been in talks with Sonics Arena Group. More from

Sources close to the investment group say the discussions with Wilson were underway for several weeks before today’s announcement.

The Seahawks quarterback has publicly touted his support for building a new arena near Seattle’s baseball and football stadiums, in addition to bringing an NBA franchise back to the city. In an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” last week, Wilson appeared in a recorded bit in which he said “Thank You” to former Sonics player Kevin Durant; the Sonics logo appeared at the same time.

Hansen is making a continued push for an arena in Sodo, despite a vote of rejection by the Seattle City Council earlier this year. The council cited traffic concerns as one of its primary reasons for nixing Hansen’s plan, but he recently sought to make the offer more enticing by expressing a desire to privately finance the arena.

As this development continues to unfold, some in Seattle–including mayor Ed Murray–are discussing the possibility of renovating Key Arena. Such a project could include alterations that allow the venue–the former home of the Seattle Supersonics–to accommodate one or two major sports franchises. It remains to be seen if Hansen can persuade Seattle to take a closer look at his plan, but Wilson’s backing at least gives the effort a higher profile.

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