The push to build a new arena in Seattle with the hopes of seeing the NBA return now has another name to go along with that of hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer will be part of the investment group for both the arena and the acquisition of an NBA franchise, according to a letter sent Wednesday by Hansen to King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

That Ballmer is part of the investment group is not a surprise. Ballmer is a longtime basketball fan who regularly sat courtside at SuperSonics games before their departure to Oklahoma City in 2008 and was part of a group that made a last-ditch effort to try to keep the team in Seattle.

At that time, Ballmer teamed with a handful of other Seattle businessmen to offer a renovation of KeyArena. Now Ballmer is throwing his support, and dollars, behind Hansen’s proposal for a $490 million arena that would house an NBA franchise and possibly bring the NHL to Seattle.

– Reported by Tim Booth of the Associated Press