Port of Seattle’s Tom Albro removes himself from arena discussions, citing conflict of interest

Albro owns a company that manages the Seattle Monorail, a 55-year-old train system now within the plans of at least one group offering to renovate KeyArena for NBA and NHL use.

Port of Seattle Commission President Tom Albro said Friday he recused himself two months ago from ongoing discussions on Seattle’s arena situation because of a personal conflict of interest.

Albro owns a company that manages the Seattle Monorail, a 55-year-old train system now within the plans of at least one group offering to renovate KeyArena for NBA and NHL use. Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke said last week that the Monorail would be part of his company’s proposal to improve traffic and transportation around the KeyArena site.

“I have an absolute conflict of interest which I have been clear about to my colleagues for as long as I’ve served with them,’’ said Albro, who owns Seattle Monorail Services, which has run the train system since 1994.

City officials declined comment Friday but said they’ve long been aware of Albro’s ownership of the Monorail company.

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Albro said his longstanding policy has been not to tout KeyArena as the site of the city’s next major arena for NBA and NHL. Instead, he said, he answers KeyArena questions only in general terms when asked directly by an interviewer.

But until January, Albro had continued to voice his opposition to the Sodo District arena proposal pitched by entrepreneur Chris Hansen. Hansen’s previous plan was rejected in a 5-4 city-council vote last May, but he has since returned proposing a similar plan with all-private funding.

“I have long been against this proposed Sodo arena and for many years there was never any talk of a KeyArena (proposal),” Albro said.

But that changed around the time the KeyArena proposal process was launched by the city two months ago. Albro said he had been approached by a state legislative…

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