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Wilson on bringing NBA, NHL to Seattle: ‘It’s a no-brainer, the time is now’

russell-wilson

RENTON, Wash. — Bring back the Sonics.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson reaffirmed his commitment to bringing professional basketball and hockey to Seattle.

He says the first step is to get a new arena in SODO, and it all starts with the street vacation that has been previously denied by the Seattle City Council.

“There’s nothing better than going to an NBA game … the time is now,” Wilson said during his weekly press conference at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton.  “It’s a no brainer to me why we should fight to bring an NBA team back … it starts with the arena, it starts with the street vacation.”

Wilson said despite growing up in Virginia, he was a huge Sonics fan.

“When I was a young kid I remember how cool the (Sonics) were and how cool Gary Payton was.”

Earlier this week, Wilson announced that he was joining the Sonics Arena Group as a business partner. Wilson will join a group made up of investors Chris Hansen, Wally Walker and Erik and Pete Nordstrom.

“I’m excited to announce I’ve partnered w/ the Sonics Arena Group to help bring the @NBA & @NHL to the best fan base in the world. Seattle,” Wilson wrote.

Wilson says ultimately he'd like a stake in an NBA team, but we need to get the arena first.

"(A new arena) will open up tons of jobs too." he said. "It'll be a state of the art facility, but it all starts with the street vacation."

After the city council voted down a proposal last spring to vacate Occidental Ave. to make way for stadium construction, Wilson urged fans to start a petition.

Pete Carroll, who described himself as "a basketball guy" during his press conference Monday, said he'll be at the front of the line to go to games if the NBA returns.

"I think he loves this community and he’s interested in being part of something special," Carroll said. "We all are aware of how close it is to the hearts of people here."

Wilson isn't the only Sonics fan in the Seahawks' locker room. Just last week, linebacker Bobby Wagner told Q13 News he'd "love for the Sonics to come back."