Hopping along the Northwest sports ticker on a late-summer day ...

What will it take — two, three, four years for Seattle to land an NBA franchise again?

I’m not sure, but it appears it will happen down the road after Tuesday’s agreement between the Seattle City Council and an investor group led by businessman Chris Hansen.

Hansen has pledged $290 million of private money to build an NBA/NHL facility in the south downtown (SODO) district near Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field. He also has agreed to establish a $40 million transportation fund and to pay $7 million to renovate KeyArena as an interim site should the city land a franchise before the new arena is built.

The city of Seattle is expected to issue $200 million in revenue bonds to finance the remaining costs of the project.

An environmental impact study must be done before any construction, and that could take a year.

Why is it every city but ours understands the benefits of a major-league franchise to the community?

If Seattle gets an NHL team before Portland does, I’ll croak.

Bill Schonely can’t walk down the street without getting hit with laurels.

The legendary longtime voice of the Trail Blazers was in Springfield, Mass., last Thursday to accept the Curt Gowdy Award for excellence in NBA broadcasting prior to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Now comes news that Mr. Rip City has been selected as the 2012 winner of the Tom McCall Award for distinguished service by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.

“To get those two awards in a week’s time is the epitome,” says Schonely, 83, who joins such notables as Mark Hatfield, Robert Straub, Bill Bowerman, Phil Knight and Les Schwab as recipients. “So many people in the state of Oregon, and now I get one. It’s hard to find words to explain what an honor that is.”

Schonely knew the late Gov. McCall.

“One day I’m driving my car with ‘Rip City’ on the license plate, and I hear a car horn, and it’s Tom McCall honking at me,” the “Schonz” says. “When I had heart surgery at Emanuel Hospital, he happened to be in the hospital the same time two floors above me. He came down and we spent a couple of hours talking.”

Schonely returned to Portland today after spending a week back east around his visit to Springfield. His two brothers and a nephew drove to Springfield on award day. On Sunday, Schonely — a Pennsylvania native — drove to his home state with wife Dottie to visit her relatives. The next day, they visited with a group of high school classmates.

“It was nostalgia time,” says Schonely, who finished the trip with a drive to Akron, Ohio, to see Dottie’s two children. “Hectic, but unforgettable.”

Oregon State and Nicholls State are very likely to play their postponed game Dec. 1 at Reser Stadium — if, that is, the Beavers aren’t in the Pac-12 championship game and the Colonels aren’t in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

“We’ll have to rewrite the contract to figure in those possibilities,” says OSU athletic director Bob De Carolis. “I would expect we’ll get that taken care of in the next week or two and have the plan approved by the Pac-12.”

Nicholls State, incidentally, lost 9-3 at South Alabama in its opener last Saturday.

Chip Kelly’s refusal to discuss or reveal the nature of injuries is silly enough. But when the Oregon coach basically passes on an opportunity to pay tribute to two of the greatest Ducks in recent years — John Boyett and Carson York, both lost for the season with knee injuries — it borders on the ridiculous.

KPAM (860 AM) has laid off sports director Ron Callan and canceled his “Northwest Sports Tonight” show that ran from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays the past two years. Comedian Dennis Miller’s entertainment talk show will replace it.

It’s a big loss to Portland sports talk radio. Callan is one of the true sportscasting pros in the area. His show featured a variety of guests and topics, and he ran it with an even-handed style that didn’t assault the listener’s senses.

The Tribune is part of the Pamplin Media Group, which also owns KPAM 860.

Callan will continue to work in pre-game and post-game broadcasts of Oregon State football. Here’s hoping he lands in a good place with another full-time job.

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Twitter: @kerryeggers

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