A Seattle City Council committee voted Thursday to approve a revised agreement with investor Chris Hansen to build a new sports arena blocks away from Safeco Field in the SODO district.

The Government Performance and Finance Committee voted 7-0 (with one abstention), setting up a final vote on Sept. 24.

Today's vote moves us one step closer to a good deal for all the people of Seattle, not just sports fans, said Councilmember Tim Burgess, the committee chairman. The new deal protects family-wage jobs and provides strong financial protections for taxpayers and city and county government. It also gives us an opportunity to begin an in-depth planning process about the future of the Seattle Center.

Chris Hansen, the investor behind the arena project, said the City Council's demands for a renegotiated memorandum of understanding on the proposed building pushed his investment group past where they were first willing to go.

But they decided it was in the best interest of the community to invest even more.

Hansen spoke Thursday afternoon at a bar in Seattle's Pioneer Square, shortly before an event where Hansen has invited fans to come celebrate the agreement and have their first beer on him.

The renegotiated agreement must also bee approved by the King County Council.

But the agreement now gives Hansen the support he needs to start pursuing any available NBA franchises.

Associated Press contributing.

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