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Court rejects challenge to Seattle arena plan

Photo: KPUG

Court rejects challenge to Seattle arena plan

SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington appeals court says tentative plans for a new professional basketball and hockey arena in Seattle do not violate state environmental law.

Investor Chris Hansen has been trying to build a $490 million arena to draw the NBA and NHL to Seattle. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union sued, saying traffic congestion from basketball and hockey games would kill jobs because it would interfere with container shipping and related businesses nearby.

The longshoremen said a memorandum of understanding between Hansen and city and county officials violated the State Environmental Protection Act by creating irreversible momentum for building the arena, even before environmental studies were performed.

But a three-judge Court of Appeals panel unanimously disagreed Monday, upholding a lower court’s ruling from February. The panel says the memorandum merely sets out how the decision over whether to build the arena will be made.

Billionaire fined for trying to undo Kings arena 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Billionaire Chris Hansen must pay the California Fair Political Practices Commission $50,000 for his role in a secretive effort to funnel money to a group trying to thwart Sacramento’s efforts to build a new downtown arena.

Hansen gave $100,000 to a group gathering signatures to force a vote on the city’s plan to help build a new home for the Sacramento Kings. It came just days after the NBA rejected his $625 million bid to buy the team and move it to Seattle.

The FPPC said Monday that Hansen is being punished for failing to file a campaign statement.

The hedge fund manager has apologized.

He tried to buy the team earlier this year as city officials scrambled to find a buyer who would keep the franchise in Sacramento.

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