In 5-4 Vote, City Council Kills Street Vacation for New Sodo Arena

Comments

1
I don't give a rats ass about sportsball, but arguing to keep Occidental on the grounds that it improves traffic flow? Occidental is a non-arterial that goes from nowhere to nowhere, and is used only for free parking.
2
I think we already know what kind of partner the NBA would be for Seattle. A wise move to not play their shell game.
3
Fuck the NBA. Can't wait for Kevin Durant leave OKC and watch that franchise sink into the Oklahoma frack.
4
I, of course, do not watch or participate in sports of any kind. (unless you count Canasta) But I know that there are those who are fond of basketball and hockey, and think they should have a place to watch people do whatever it is they do when they play those games, as well as a local team to rally behind.

So my first choice for That Sort Of Thing would be the Washington State Coliseum (you may know it by it's vulgar corporate name, "The Key Arena") but I am told that the spoiled men who run the Basketball industry don't find it acceptable, so why not build a new one down by all the other stadiums that already have transit, parking, etc? After all, no one plays baseball when they are playing football, and no one plays basketball when they are playing either baseball or football. So wouldn't it make sense to put the stadium in the "Stadium District" rather than some dismal place like Tukwilla or Bellevue?
5
Well, that's a bummer. I know it won't bother the "Billionaires paying Millionaires" crowd, but this really was the best stadium deal Seattle was going to see and it just got shot down. I like pro sports quite a bit while also understanding that many issues take precedence. A small alley for the port seems like a small enough price to pay in order to have the revenues from potentially two major league sports teams. Not to mention the infrastructure upgrades Hansen would have footed.

I disagree with the decision and was hopeful that today would be the first step toward bringing the Sonics back. I also disagree with people resorting to sexism as a response. It sucks, I know, but come on.
6
Wow, quite surprising. I can't say I was thrilled with this idea. My guess is we aren't going to get a new basketball team for a while. Maybe a hockey team, but personally, I could care less about that (and the argument for it is weaker -- no one feels like we lost our hockey team). But Hansen is not that rich. Someone with a lot more money (like the two guys who already own teams) would just tell the league that they want a team. They wouldn't worry about where they would put it -- money doesn't matter. But for Hansen it does. He is trying to work that fine line between being wealthy enough to buy a team, but not wealthy enough to ignore what the city thinks of him.
7
@4 -- Actually, there is some overlap, but not enough to worry about your overall point. That is the best place for a basketball/hockey arena, as it is the best place in the city from a transit standpoint.
8
Also, fuck the Port and their lack of policing of the huge trucks blowing through red lights and stop signs in SODO.
9
its kind of tough not to say something about 5 women, 4 men.

this is the first time we've had a majority female council, right? that's the kind of power over development women have never had here, or maybe in any city in america.

so, the question is, what concessions do they want? it can still get done.
10
Is the gender breakdown of the vote irrelevant? Not sure. (Had the vote been five men saying yes and four women saying no, would it be irrelevant then? Again...not sure.)

But, lest it be thought that only boneheaded men have had thoughts about the gender breakdown of this vote--it's worth taking a read of comedian Monica Nevi's reaction:

http://monicanevi.com/seattle-arena-deal…
11
Burien. Build it next to Meinert's house. He'd be cool with it.
12
@9: Not even close. It was 6-3 women under Mayor Rice (Martha Choe, Cheryl Chow, Jan Drago, Sherry Harris, Jane Noland, Margaret Pageler). Of those six, two were lesbian women of color (although Cheryl Chow was not, as they say, "openly" gay at the time).

Frank Blethen must have creamed his jeans when he heard the vote. I wonder what kind of blackmail material he has on the new councilmembers and I absolutely wish someone at the Stranger could figure out why he is so opposed to this commonsense location for a basketball arena.
13
@10, If you listened to the council hearing you'd have been treated to some of the councilwomen's groans at the men (particularly Harrell) throwing around sports metaphors and phrases. It's one of those things we do without even thinking that'll probably be classified as a "microagression" in a few years.
14
The misogyny evident on twitter was something to be proud of for sure. Even some of the media (yes King 5 - one of them was yours) made gender-related comments that were completely unnecessary. I expect that from Utah, where women are second-class citizens mostly good for breeding & caring for the house & the progeny, but for a city that prides itself on being progressive, many of those comments were anything but.
15
This is very unfortunate; Seattle economy tanked when the Sonics left, and still has not recovered. Without a basketball team, I'm afraid Seattle will soon become a ghost town.
16
Hopefully Bellevue steps up to take this dreadful, yet popular idea to the other side of Lake Washington.
17
@15 FTW.
18
In 1994-1995 it was 7 out of 9.

Jan Drago
Cheryl Chow
Tom Weeks
Sue Donaldson
Jane Noland
Jim Street (President)
Sherry Harris
Margaret Pageler
Martha Choe
19
Smash the matriarchy!
20
Great. Nothing but the awful acoustics of Key for National touring acts for the forseeable future.

I hope a few of them shell out for Adelle tickets and then wonder why she sounds so garbled and echo-ey.
21
thanks for the history lesson - i'd forgot!

23
@12: Frank has his head up the Mariners' ass.
24
Told you so.
25
@15. T.Y.
26
Wow, we really missed out on a great deal - selling a public right-of-way for $18-20 million so that we could be on the hook for $200 million in public bond funds.
27
I'm glad. I have an ancient affection for the Sonics but since they left, NBA has been dead to me.

Thanks again, Howard Shultz.
29
Sawant the other idiots should be forced to explain themselves. It has been proven as "fact" that occidental ave does not hurt or harm the port. There are barely any trucks coming out of the port. Every study on the street has proven it.

If this was actually about jobs maybe someone would look into the money two sports franchises would bring to the area. Maybe somebody would look at the arena cost as a better deal than the mariners and Seahawks got. This owner was willing to put up more than half of the cost.

The political grandstanding union loving (and money taking) council members make me sick!
30
@29 - "Maybe somebody would look at the arena cost as a better deal than the mariners and Seahawks got."

A better deal that other deals that sucked a lot worse? That's the threshold for why we should use public resources to support a billionaire's private venture?

Let's be clear - there is absolutely NO economic rationale for this project to get public approval: not jobs, not economic stimulus, not increasing the tax base or generating revenue. Nada.

One independent study after another has shown that the economic impact of a sports franchise on a city doesn't justify public involvement:

Are pro sports teams economic winners for cities? (http://www.marketplace.org/2015/03/19/bu… “If every sports team in Chicago were to suddenly disappear, the impact on the Chicago economy would be a fraction of 1 percent.”

Sports, Jobs, & Taxes: Are New Stadiums Worth the Cost? (http://www.brookings.edu/research/articl… "A new sports facility has an extremely small (perhaps even negative) effect on overall economic activity and employment. No recent facility appears to have earned anything approaching a reasonable return on investment. No recent facility has been self-financing in terms of its impact on net tax revenues. Regardless of whether the unit of analysis is a local neighborhood, a city, or an entire metropolitan area, the economic benefits of sports facilities are de minimus."

More Evidence Shows That Pro Sports Teams Don’t Boost The Economy (http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/01… "A 2001 study of past work stoppages found that, in 37 metropolitan area economies with professional sports franchises, there was no overall financial impact. Indeed, the cities appeared to perform better financially in years that games were canceled."
32
I generally don't care about sports unless my taxes are paying for them, but I love it when Ed doesn't get his way.
33
@4 regarding this statement...
"After all, no one plays baseball when they are playing football, and no one plays basketball when they are playing either baseball or football. So wouldn't it make sense to put the stadium in the "Stadium District".

Yes! lets jack up the traffic going through/ around the stadiums on even more days of the year... It is already a total cluster fuck on game days to get from south Seattle area to ANYWHERE north... much less downtown. Traffic on game days fucks up 99 (if the viaduct ever opens again), all the even remotely close by city streets, and I5... Or did you not realize this because you are not affected by it?

It would be a great suggestion if the stupid stadiums where slightly out of town and not right in the middle of the only traffic flow Seattle has...
34
Without the full throated support of the NBA for a new team here, I wouldn't have voted for the vacation either. This is not Chicken-and-Egg, I feel the league has to show commitment. They actively worked to prevent SAC and MIL from moving to Seattle with no horizon for them NOT doing such a thing for future vulnerable teams, and seem to have no appetite for expansion.
35
@29 many people HAVE looked into it. Big Ticket sports arenas are, 100% of the time, economic losers. Every single one of them!
36
We are overstating the negative economic impact. If you pick and choose the statistics I can make the argument why the stadiums are positive economically. At the same time I can also find great examples of losers. Our key arena is a perfect example of failure.

What most people agree is that it is positive when a few things happen. 1) that the public isn't on the hook for 100% of the cost. In this case it would be closer to 38%. 2) that the lease agreements favor the city to keep the teams in Seattle. Or you get the Sonics mess. 3) that the use of the land is the best economical use. If you go down their now I would argue that a stadium is just as good or better than what is there now.

Then again I am not an NBA fan. The NBA product has been week for years. You have your few major markets that dominate the league and then 50% of the teams struggle. But I argue that this is not a city council decision to make. At the end of the day put it to a vote. Let Seattle chose if it wants another sports team. We have given too much power to a corrupt few. The city council is getting out of control. They are literally what is wrong with politics. They are elected officials that support their districts and never listen to them. We have the nations 14 largest market but we allow them to vote for larger staffs than San Francisco so that they can go around getting more money and grandstanding on ever single issue in our city.
37
@33-- For many years, I have owned a business two blocks from Safeco and the proposed arena. I travel in this area in and around games more than pretty much anyone in this city. Game traffic clears the area and the roads are normal within 30 minutes, generally (Seahawks are closer to 45, but there is surprisingly almost no concentrated traffic coming in to Seahawks games because tailgaters start coming five hours before kick-off and fans trickle in from there; the other two teams have moderately concentrated traffic for about 45 minutes before games). Add to this that the NBA averages 1/3 of the attendance of the Seahawks and less than half that of the Sounders. Simply put: the traffic concerns are way overblown. Occidental is mostly useless and carries almost no cars.
38
Why is the gender breakdown irrelevant? Isn't it possible that the support for the sonics is mostly pushed by men who in general have an irrational support of sports which led to rationalizing the benefits of this proposal.
39
If hoop/puck arenas are so great, let Bellevue build one. Seattlites can drive there and clog up their streets for a change. Or they can be smart and tear down a few worthless strip-malls to locate it next to a pending Link station.

@28 LOL

40
@37 yeah, no. In the immediate vicinity I'll grant it's not *so* bad, but I spent years commuting to the Eastside on a regular basis and I live in First Hill. The traffic impact is HUGE on the freeways, especially on weekdays. I've had plenty of first hand experience with congestion on surface streets, and it is worse on game days (try taking Dearborn or Rainier in the vicinity of I-90).

And generally it's still a losing battle to drive toward the stadiums when getting off the freeways (there used to be a shortcut taking Edgar Martinez drive from 90 to 99, but it was not to be attempted on game days--I've been stuck trying to turn onto 4th from that offramp for more time than I care to recall).
41
Oh, no! There'll be traffic! Oh my stars and garters!

Cities have traffic. That's why they're cities. I'd rather add to the mess downtown than create another sprawly area someplace else. And the Stadium District has both Link and Sounder service that people flock to on game days. Granted its a bit of a trot to the new arena from the station, but people already trot all over SODO on game days.

If we are going to build an arena, just build it someplace that's already messed up and has transit connections.
42
Huh, guess the girls on the Council don't have balls to play with so they didn't want anyone else to play with balls.