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Chris Hansen offers to ditch public financing for potential Sonics arena

SEATTLE – The Seattle SuperSonics are one big step closer to existing again.

The group hoping to bring an NBA team back to Seattle sent a letter to Mayor Ed Murray offering to foot the entire bill for a new stadium and do away with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2012.

The push for a new stadium ground to a halt last spring, when the Seattle City Council voted against vacating Occidental Avenue.

The letter, signed by Chris Hansen and his investment team of Wally Walker and Erik and Pete Nordstrom, asks that the city agree to approve the street vacation in return for the group paying city’s agreed-upon stadium investment of $200 million in bonds to fund construction.

“In the five years since we began working with the City and the County on the Arena funding package the economic landscape has changed,” the group wrote. “The recession is behind us and we are deep into this new economic cycle. Interest rates have declined and the NBA has completed its new national television contract, creating more financial certainty in the industry.”

Murray's office issued a written statement on Tuesday afternoon.

“The City will review the letter sent by a group of stakeholders, including Chris Hansen, suggesting a revision to the previous SODO arena proposal,” the statement reads.  “We share the goal of bringing the NBA and NHL to Seattle. The City will continue to consider all options to build a new, state of the art arena that will accomplish that goal and that can serve the city for years to come.”

The group also asked that the city waive its admissions tax for the arena and that it adjust the B&O tax for revenue generated out of town.

The group also agreed to finance the Landers Street overpass.