Seattle Sonics Push State to Approve Taxes for Stadium Construction

The Seattle Sonics want the state to authorize $300 million in taxes for a new multipurpose events center the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

The arena the team wants built would cost between $340 million and $360 million, according to a letter from team owner Clay Bennett to Gov. Chris Gregoire and Legislative leaders. That does not include $150 million to $170 million needed for the land or the parking.

The money could be raised by extending existing restaurant and rental car taxes, which were imposed to pay for Safeco Field and Qwest Field. A representative from the Washington Restaurant Association testified in support of the Sonics on Thursday, according to the Post-Intelligencer.

Team representatives said the building should not be seen strictly as a basketball arena, but as an economic-development opportunity.

However, Service Employees International Union spokesman Adam Glickman calls it "the biggest waste of money [he] can imagine."

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