SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle City Council has approved a deal to build a new arena designed to lure the NBA back to town.

Council members voted 6-2 to approve investor Chris Hansen’s plan for a $490 million arena near the Seahawks and Mariners stadiums south of downtown. The plan calls for $200 million in public investment, and Hansen has personally guaranteed to cover the city’s debt if the arena’s finances don’t work out.

The arena could also house an NHL team.

Changes in the plan still must be approved by the King County Council, and it must pass an environmental review.

But Hansen says city approval allows him to shop for a team that would replace the SuperSonics. After four decades in Seattle, the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 and became the Thunder.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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