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ALLEN TO GET THREE-YEAR LEASE PLUS INCENTIVES FOR SEAHAWKS?
Published December 2, 1996
King County, WA, officials are reportedly ready to give Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen a three-year lease on the Kingdome, as well as other financial incentives, if he will agree to buy the Seahawks, according to David Schaefer of the SEATTLE TIMES. By agreeing to Allen's terms, county officials "hope" he would exercise his option to buy the Seahawks. Allen wants a shorter lease to gain leverage in negotiations with the State Legislature for a new stadium, but "if no deal were reached," the lease could allow the Seahawks to leave town after three years. According to sources, the "specter of legal entanglements" and the "threat" that team Owner Ken Behring would try to move the team by declaring bankruptcy have caused Gov.-elect and King County Exec Gary Locke and members of the Metropolitan King County Council to go along with Allen's terms. Business interests have lobbied Locke and the council to convince them that "they are better off" with a local owner such as Allen - - "even if he promises to stay in the area for only three years" -- than with Behring and the promise of years of litigation (SEATTLE TIMES, 11/27).