For once, the pressure’s on the sports moguls to make Seattle a better offer.

Some of the headlines this past week were sure rosy about prospects for a new sports arena in Seattle’s Sodo District.

“Mayor, Hansen celebrate as Seattle arena final EIS released,” said one, at KING 5. “Hansen’s group gets ‘green light’ to build Seattle arena” trumpeted another, at NBC Sports.


But down at City Hall, among the group that would have to actually cut the check for more than a 100 million in taxpayers’ dollars, the light was hardly reading green. At best it’s flashing yellow, and it may have already changed to red.

“This deal’s just not doable, at least as it’s constructed today,” says Tim Burgess, the president of the Seattle City Council. “I wouldn’t say it’s dead. But we are not going to go ahead with this arena without substantial changes. And there are no plans right now for those.”

Basically, the Sodo arena is dead. Unless someone revives it with bucketloads of fresh money.

The city now wants all or most of the $125 million in bonds it pledged for an arena to be replaced by private financing. For all practical purposes, the city wants out.