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Thousands rally to support new arena in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) -- Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp got the loudest ovations, but it was Chris Hansen left accepting the most praise at a rally in downtown Seattle to support the push for a new arena that could eventually bring the SuperSonics back.

Thursday afternoon's rally crammed green and gold clad fans into Occidental Park just a few blocks north of Seattle's stadium district where CenturyLink and Safeco fields currently sit. Hansen's proposal before the King County and Seattle city councils calls for a $490 million facility just south of the Mariners' Safeco Field with nearly $300 million in private investment.

Hansen said he was overwhelmed by the turnout, with estimates of at least 4,000 in attendance. The rally ended with chants of "Thank you Chris!" and included appearances by Payton, Kemp and fellow former Sonics star Detlef Schrempf.