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Man behind Seattle arena plan buys up all the land he needs

Seattle SuperSonics v Denver Nuggets

DENVER - MARCH 16: A member of the Seattle SuperSonics awaits action against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 16, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Sonics 168-116. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the term and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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We are a long way from seeing an arena and NBA team in Seattle. Yet if I were a Sacramento Kings fan worried about losing my team I’d be far more worried about what is happening in Seattle than the long-shot possibility in Virginia Beach.

PBT reported yesterday that the Maloofs already turned down an offer to buy the Kings from Chris Hansen, the guy behind the Seattle project.

To that end, the Seattle project took a big step forward because Hansen has bought all the land he needs to build the stadium, reports the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

According to public records, Hansen’s real-estate group, WSA Properties LLC, closed Tuesday on the parcel of land at 1700 First Ave. S., where the Showbox Sodo currently stands. The purchase price was $8 million; the property was last appraised at a value of $3.36 million earlier this year, according to tax records.

The property is one of the last puzzle pieces in Hansen’s plan to build a new arena on that block. His group has purchased most of the land between South Massachusetts and South Holgate Streets between First Avenue South and the train tracks. With another property in escrow, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Hansen now controls all the property he has said he needs for the arena project.

There is still some issue about how the Seattle arena gets financed, and there are the design and environmental issues to deal with. Plus the Mariners do not like another arena that could clog traffic in their area.

But these are the kind of challenges every arena getting built faces. Seattle is just a lot farther along in the process than the Virginia Beach. And frankly, Kansas City is ahead of both of them with an already open Sprint Center ready for a team.