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Russell Wilson: I want ownership stake if NBA returns to Seattle

RENTON, Wash. -- Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson announced earlier this week that he is joining a group led by investor Chris Hansen that is working on building an NBA/NHL arena in Seattle's SODO neighborhood.

On Thursday, Wilson said he plans to have an ownership stake in the basketball team, should the NBA return to Seattle.

"Yeah, I will. Yes, for sure," Wilson said. "It's going to be an exciting thing.

"I met Chris a few years ago, and we were having a great conversation. ... I've told you guys I've been really authentic about wanting to own a team one day and being a part of something really special and doing that. And even though I'm young, I definitely have a business mindset. And I want to be able to help people and give back and help change this community, continue to change this community for the better."

Wilson was asked if he's willing to lobby city hall and Seattle's mayor on behalf of the ownership group.

"Of course," Wilson said. "I think it's just trying to encourage people and let them understand, you know, how important it is, and it will open up tons of jobs for people. ... It's going to be a state-of-the-art facility and give people opportunity."

The Seattle SuperSonics were an NBA team for 40 seasons, from 1967-68 through 2007-08, before the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. Hansen has been at the forefront of attempts to bring the NBA back to Seattle.

Hansen and his investment group announced last month that they would pay for the arena with private funds.

"For a long time, I have wanted to own a team and be part of that," Wilson said. "Really for the past year, I'd say, [I've] really kind of been really processing it and thinking about it and trying to understand, and trying to get information from the people of Seattle.

"It's such a great city. It's a financially prospering city, a place where we can change people's lives and give new jobs and help people around the city. It's a great area, the SODO area. It's really, really special. Obviously you have the football stadium, CenturyLink, right there. You have the Mariners in Safeco [Field] right there too.

"And we want to bring a state-of-the-art facility there, too, an arena. So it's exciting to me."