A new arena in Seattle that could bring the NBA back to the Puget Sound appears a step closer to reality.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has issued a statement late Monday night saying he welcomes the news that the Seattle City Council has decided to support bringing basketball back to Seattle.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Chris Hansen should never have to buy a beer again in his hometown.

It wouldn’t just be a gesture of appreciation for the investor with a heart of Sonics green and gold. It could be a necessity. Considering the dough he’s about to put down to build a new Seattle arena and lure an NBA team, he might have to reduce his going-out money.

Then again, looking at all the concessions he made to consummate a deal in Sodo, he probably is now part-owner of all the local suds, anyway.

Whatever the case, will every Sonics-missing fan raise a glass?

The hardest part of this comeback quest is all but over now. The Seattle City Council has reached an agreement with Hansen on his $490 million arena plan. And for once, the city’s annoying affinity for process, debate and universal pacification appears to have resulted in a digestible situation for Hansen, the Port of Seattle and all businesses concerned with how even more Sodo congestion will affect their bottom line.

– Reported by Jerry Brewer of theĀ Seattle Times