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Council News Release

1/28/2008  2:19:00 PM
Marty McOmber, 206.684.8358 or 206.423.4541 (cell)

Jean Godden, Seattle City Councilmember
Jan Drago, Seattle City Councilmember
Sally J. Clark, Seattle City Councilmember
Tim Burgess, Seattle City Councilmember
Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Councilmember
Nick Licata, Seattle City Councilmember
Richard McIver, Seattle City Councilmember
Tom Rasmussen, Seattle City Councilmember

New KeyArena Lease Proposed

SEATTLE The city of Seattle will work collaboratively with the new local owners of the Seattle Storm to keep the professional womens basketball team playing at KeyArena, under a resolution introduced by the City Council today.

Im pleased we have the opportunity to continue the strong tradition of professional womens basketball at KeyArena, said Mayor Greg Nickels. This is a great example of what committed local ownership means for a team, its fans and the entire city.

Having the Storm play at KeyArena is good for the fans and good for the Seattle Center, said Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Finance and Budget Committee that will review the resolution.

Councilmember Jan Drago said, The new local owners, the fans, the business community and the City will each do our part to help the team continue to be successful for many years.

Councilmember Sally Clark said, I greatly respect the new owners for stepping forward. Theyve been clear from day one that success will be built on partnership with the community, business and government. The scale of this deal makes sense and we should move forward.

Councilmember Bruce Harrell said, Athletics can have a very positive effect on young people. The presence of the Seattle Storm in KeyArena can have a very positive effect on the community, particularly girls and young women. It is our job to integrate this policy into a city-wide strategy of investing in our youth.

Councilmember Tim Burgess said, Im delighted the Storm will continue to play in Seattle and be the role models they are for our children. Encouraging participation in sports team and exercise is important on many levels, including personal health, public safety, and as a community endeavor. The Storm are a key part of this community service.

Councilmember Nick Licata said, The Storm owners and the City Council are on the same page: We want to pursue a fair solution for the public and the team.

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen said, The Seattle Storm has been one of Seattles most beloved teams. I am a big fan and hope they stay!

The resolution requests that the Mayor and Seattle Center work with the new local owners to extend the length of the lease. It also notes that having womens professional basketball as a tenant at KeyArena helps the city financially and provides other public benefits to residents and taxpayers of the city.

The City Councils Finance & Budget Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposal on Tuesday, February 5 at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers on the Second Floor of City Hall. The Committee will then discuss and possibly vote on the legislation on Friday, February 8 at 9:30 a.m.


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