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Judge Rejects Union Lawsuit Against Sodo Arena Deal

A King County Superior Court judge has rejected a lawsuit that would have stalled plans to build a new professional basketball and hockey arena in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood. It's part of a proposal to bring an NBA team back to Seattle.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union opposes the plan on the grounds that it could snarl freight traffic south of downtown and cost jobs around the Port of Seattle. The union sued to stop the arena deal between the city of Seattle, King County and an investment group headed by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen, saying local governments should have completed a thorough environmental review before inking the deal.

But a judge said because the agreement only set up a tentative plan, a full environmental review wasn’t necessary.

Seattle City Council Member Tim Burgess applauded the ruling. “My colleagues and I made substantial changes to what the mayor submitted to us, and we made certain that our final decisions were delayed until after the environmental review process is completed. And the judge recognized that today,” Burgess said.

On Monday, the city planning team for the proposed arena will update the council on the status of the project – including getting Key Arena ready as an interim site for a possible new NBA team.

Hansen announced last month that he’s made an offer to buy the Sacramento Kings NBA team. If the offer is officially accepted, the team purchase could be finalized as soon as April.

Year started with KUOW: 2008