No. No. No.

Comments

1
If they switch back to short shorts I might not mind.
3
If it's private money, sounds like a good thing to me. The anti-stadium initiative from a few years ago should limit our contribution to possibly a few road improvements and maybe a train stop, don't you think?
4
C'mon, Seattle! We need to show the millionaires who play for the billionaires in the NBA that we really care! Open up your wallets, you stingy bastards!
5
@Tiffany (#3): It's NEVER just private money. EVER.
6
You want your publicly funded art and publicly funded bike lanes and publicly funded Seattle Center installations. I want my publicly funded basketball team. To each their own.
7
If it's an arena that is also sufficient for hockey, and mostly paid for with private funds (ie: possibly city backed loans, and the City paying for the eminent domain to get all of the necessary properties), then why not?

Adding another sports franchise would be a good thing for our local economy. And if we can compete for, and grab, an NHL team...well, just more of a bonus for Seattle.

We can be both an arts city and a sports city.
8
Yeah @6, but all those publicly funded amenities don't put tens of millions of dollars directly into the pockets of insanely wealthy private citizens who could just as easily afford to pay for this stuff on their own.

Unless you want to advocate for a Packers-style ownership model, that is...
9
You can build an arena for much more than basketball, and Seattle's major arena is about thirty years behind those of other major metropolitan cities, which is why we lost the Sonics in the first place. Yes! Yes! Yes!
10
If sports teams are so profitable (and in fact even if they aren't) they should build their own damn arenas/stadiums. The amount of corporate welfare that goes from cities to the NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL is truly appalling. And the perennial hostage situation of "build us a better facility or we're moving to a city that will" is reason enough to refuse to put a dime of city funds towards this sort of thing, ever.

I like sports fine, but seriously...fuck that shit.
11
I agree with Dan - the city should only support things that I personally like.

Except that I like basketball, so, umm...
12
I'd support this if it was all private money. The cynic in me says that there's no way it would be all private money. Regardless, I do miss the Sonics...
13
@3: "If it's private money, sounds like a good thing to me."

It's not private money. It's never just private money.

If they want to do it themselves, it's not our fucking business. Man are you naive/stupid.
14
P.S. No one has asked for a dime of public money, so calm the fuck down, princess.
15
David Stern is a piece of shit. I want no part of a league that he's in charge of.
16
@14L "P.S. No one has asked for a dime of public money"

Are you seriously this dense.
17
@15. David Stern is 69. He's not going to live forever.
18
If you build it they will cum.
19
I'm totally supportive of this idea... provided not one dime of tax money is used.

At this time of draconian budget cuts state wide, including gutting public education, I will be a the front of the riot line if these morons ask for any tax money for this.
20
How about fixing Key Arena and re-naming it the Coliseum? Why another facility? Good lord, folks around here are dumb.

Oh, and McGinn: the best way to kill the last remaining (if any) chances for re-election is to attach your name to this scheme.
21
The world's largest motor yachts, in the range of 500 ft., can be had for prices around $300-500 million, the same range floated for the new arena.

These megayachts are the toys of old money, dot-com billionaires, and Saudi princes, who can easily afford them without soaking municipalities for part of the cost.

I suggest that sports arenas be viewed exactly the same way. Whatever benefits are going to flow to their immediate future surroundings will do so without any public financing. The only reason for pols to play along is to ensure they will get occasional invitations to the owners' skyboxes. It's the most visible and most enduring form of government corruption.
22
@1 Agreed. I want to see me some Dwight Howard in short shorts.
23
Shorter @21: bread and circuses.
24
Hey everyone. Some of yoou are apparently forgetting that our city passed an initiative barring public investment in something like this unless it made a profit. I don't think that you have to worry about more of a public investment more than possible transportation improvements around the area. And considering most of those big investments have already been made (Edgar Martinez Drive, etc), this sounds like a win-win situation to me.
25
If private money, absolutely build it. It's no skin off any of our backs then. Bonus, if it's private -- they'll have to make NHL friendly to monetize it, so we get hockey as well. That's 41 NBA home games, 42 NHL home games (more if playoffs) plus another venue for big concerts, shows, Disney On Ice, whatever.
26
Hey Gern - we didn't lose the Sonics because of the key. We lost it because the franchise was stolen, orchestrated by David Stern. www.sonicsgates.org
27
Lucky you.
An idea to bring professional basketball and hockey back to Seattle is one step closer to reaching the state legislature.

Representative Mike Hope (R, Lake Stevens) has drafted legislation that will fund a new arena. He believes it will not only bring an NBA team to Seattle, but a professional hockey team as well. [October 2, 2011]
Maybe they can hustle that to the floor of the legislature in the special session, because they don't seem to be accomplishing much else of value to ordinary people.
28
i still don't think there is anything wrong with key arena.
29
As you know a new stadium would be prohibitively expensive, because Sodo has transformed from abandoned warehouses suitable only for homeless encampments into an urban swath of garden apartments and charcuteries...right after Safeco was funded and built.
30
oh fuck no . the only good thing seattle ever did in the last 50 years was tell the sonics to go fuck themselves . the nba is deader than hell , and no one even noticed the season hadn't started but the over paid pricks that get payed to play it . 5 good teams , and the rest are the washington generals . 176 regular season games , 96 pre play off games , 66 semi final games , and 16 finals , then finally the final 7 games . all of them with seats starting at 175 bucks for nose bleeder behind a steel post seats , and 15 dollars beers . fuck the nba and the horse it rode in on .
31
Wenatchee has a slightly used stadium available via Craigslist. Anybody gotta truck?
32
Michaelp @7, fabulous comment. You perfectly captured what I was thinking.

I'd just add one angle. If an NBA+NHL-ready arena is going to be built in the Seattle region, then I'd rather it be built in or near downtown Seattle than in or near downtown Bellevue. But for God's sake, let it not be built somewhere out in Renton or the outer edges of Bellevue where you have this massive monolith surrounded by acres of parking lots. I'd rather have no arena than such a monstrosity.
33
@32 - You bring up an excellent point -

Putting an arena in the Stadium area has yet another added bonus - easy access via transit, something that would not be the case in Renton, and likely not in Bellevue.

So, again, if it's private (mostly) money, better to keep it here in Seattle.
34
The NBA is awful and dysfunctional in so many ways. I don't want my tax share to go to this foul boondoggle.
35
I was having a conversation with a fellow sports geek at the gym, and we agreed on the the reason the NBA lockout was settled. The owners realized Americans can live without the NBA. If the league ceased to exist tomorrow, fans would move on and life would go on.

I say this because I believe Seattle is providing tangible proof of David Stern's worst nightmare. The NBA can leave an affluent metropolitan area and major media market and, you know what, that market hardly misses it.

And I say this as a lifelong avid NBA follower.
36
@7: Using eminent domain for something like this might be legal, but it's awfully controversial, and buying that kind of property wouldn't be cheap. I think we're better off reserving eminent domain for things that are much more politically feasible. Maybe Bellevue would like to build a stadium....
37
@ 7 - what are the economic benefits of a publicly financed sports stadium? Most of what I've heard is that the economic benefits are negligible if they exist.

http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/i…

@ 36 - Bruce Ratner (likely) bought the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets specifically because it would allow him to more easily use eminent domain to develop the Atlantic Yards.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021…
38
Seattle is a basketball city. We are the 99%.
Child Dan Savage is the 1%.
39
I support building a new stadium for a potential basketball team only if it is a deep-bore arena carved out beneath the city. That's really the only good place to build anything.
40
Womens' basketball is much more interesting than the NBA's variety, and anyone who doesn't agree hasn't been to a Storm game.
42
@40:Womens' basketball is much more interesting

If you want to watch basketball played by people who don't have penises, then yes, the WNBA is much more interesting. If you want to watch the game played by the best players in the world, then not so much.
43
A $400 million dollar business pays a lot of B&O tax.
If you take a small % of that to mitigate interfacing infrastructure (laptop lights, street changes near the facility), and they tax the users to cover whatever else not covered by private investment then it makes sense.

The problem is that it is likely that Seattle will say no to a free arena, and Bellevue will beat Seattle to the punch.

An arena will get built, the question right now is where.
44
That should say stop lights.

Well, that is the wine typing pithy comments now.
45
@37: what are the economic benefits of a publicly financed sports stadium?

Jobs, for starters. By way of comparison, Safeco field employs over 7000 people, and that doesn't include the hundreds of independent vendors who set up shop on the street.

Sporting events fill up the local restaurants, bars, and strip clubs with patrons, and Seattle gets a cut of the sales tax on all the money they spend on food, drink, and parking.

Then there's the fare from all the people packing into buses and light rail. And cab fare.

That's not to say the city should finance a stadium at any cost, but it certainly does see an economic benefit from sporting events.
46
As someone who sat through exactly this in another state (Louisiana), you should pay careful attention to the article. For decades there was discussion of bringing an NBA team back to New Orleans after the Jazz fled to Utah. The state finally built a (then-) top-knotch arena facility adjoining the Superdome and lured away the Hornets, which began playing in New Orleans in 2002.

Here we are, 9 years later, and they're one of the teams Seattle's considering trying to lure away. Seattle may have a much larger audience for NBA, and higher demand for tickets, but there will always be someone with even more demand.

We're about to get stuck with an empty arena that's got decades of debt to pay off. Hope and pray it doesn't happen to you up there.
47
@32/33: No, no, no!

I love transit. (Go read my comments on STB.) But if you want people to use transit, then you need good land use. And modern sports stadiums are just about the most pedestrian-hostile thing you can build on a given parcel of land. Why? Well:

- They're huge! Generally, people are willing to walk about 1/4 mile to/from a bus stop to their destination, and about 1/2 mile for trains. For a stadium stop, the stadium is the only thing in walking distance.

- Sports stadiums get used incredibly rarely. KeyArena has less than 10 events a month, each of which takes place for a few hours in the evening. Other than that, it's completely dead space.

- Current zoning laws require you to build ludicrous amounts of parking. Thus, even if you built a stadium on top of a transit station (or under it -- i.e. monorail), most people will still drive.

The area bounded by King/Royal Brougham/1st/4th is as big as the area between Westlake/Fairview/Mercer/Denny. Which do you think is going to generate more consistent transit use: a stadium with buckets of parking, or 15 blocks of highly dense mixed-use buildings?

If we're going to build this monstrosity, I hope the state at least has the decency to put it down near Tacoma, or somewhere else where land use doesn't matter.
48
seandr: See @37. The economic benefits of publicly funding a stadium just aren't there.

And there's also the opportunity cost. An NBA/NHL-friendly arena would probably cost somewhere between $300-500 million. There are tons of other ways we could spend that money, many of which would result in way more than 7,000 jobs.
49
I like basketball. Build a new stadium. Mmmm basketball!
50
Don't we have a women's team? Can't they use the same facility? Or is that a stupid question?
51
...It's a story that could have been told in almost any American city over the past two decades. Owners of teams in the "big four" sports leagues — the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL — have reaped nearly $20 billion in taxpayer subsidies for new homes since 1990. And for just as long, fans, urban planners and economists have argued that building facilities for private sports teams is a massive waste of public money. As University of Chicago economist Allen Sanderson memorably put it, "If you want to inject money into the local economy, it would be better to drop it from a helicopter than invest it in a new ballpark."

Studies demonstrating pro sports stadiums' slight economic impact go back to 1984, the year Lake Forest College economist Robert Baade examined thirty cities that had recently constructed new facilities. His finding: in twenty-seven of them, there had been no measurable economic impact; in the other three, economic activity appeared to have decreased. Dozens of economists have replicated Baade's findings, and revealed similar results for what the sports industry calls "mega-events": Olympics, Super Bowls, NCAA tournaments and the like. (In one study of six Super Bowls, University of South Florida economist Phil Porter found "no measurable impact on spending," which he attributed to the "crowding out" effect of nonfootball tourists steering clear of town during game week.)

Meanwhile, numerous cities are littered with "downtown catalysts" that have failed to catalyze, from the St. Louis "Ballpark Village," which was left a muddy vacant lot for years after the neighboring ballpark opened, to the Newark hockey arena sited in the midst of a wasteland of half-shuttered stores.

"Public subsidies for stadiums are a great deal for team owners, league executives, developers, bond attorneys, construction firms, politicians and everyone in the stadium food chain, but a really terrible deal for everyone else," concludes Frank Rashid, a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan and college English professor. Rashid co-founded the Tiger Stadium Fan Club in 1987, and for the next twelve years he fought an unsuccessful battle against Michigan's plans to spend $145 million in public funds to replace that historic ballpark. "The case is so clear against this being a top priority for cities to be doing with their resources, I would have thought that wisdom would have prevailed by now."

Yet the amount of public money being spent on sports facilities continues to rise. According to Harvard urban planner Judith Grant Long, cities, states and counties spent a record $6.5 billion on stadiums and arenas in the 1990s, then shattered that mark the following decade with an additional $10.1 billion — a 31 percent increase after accounting for inflation. And that's not counting hidden subsidies like lease breaks, property tax exemptions and the use of tax-exempt government bonds, which Long estimates have added at least another 10 percent to the public's tab...
RTWFT. What makes any of you think Seattle will be any different? Some kind of Seattle exceptionalism?

Sheeeeit.
52
Funding a stadium is really just a giant giveaway to the team's owner. If major league sports is profitable enough to pay its players multimillion dollar salaries, they can build their own damn facilities with their own damn money.
53
@48: Economists may quibble over how much economic benefit a city will see from having a sports franchise, but nobody with any understanding of money denies those economic benefits exists. The question is how large of a pubic investment makes sense, and under what terms. It needn't and shouldn't be all or none.

As for the opportunity cost argument, that's complete and utter bullshit, because public investment in sports isn't mutually exclusive with other investments. In fact, if sports investments are done wisely, they will generate returns that make other investments possible.
54
If McGinn wants to be popular again he would go forward with this idea of a new stadium
55
@53: Did you read the article? Since it basically suggests the exact opposite, I'm guessing not. Anyway, I'm inclined to believe that over your uncited assertion otherwise.

As for your second paragraph, I'm not sure you understand what opportunity cost means. The idea is that we have a certain amount of money *today*, and if we spend it on one thing, we can't spend it on something else. For example, let's say you put $10,000 in a 12-month CD. That's a profitable investment -- when it matures, you'll have earned something like 1% (depending on interest rates, obviously). But because your money was in a CD, you weren't able to invest it in stocks, which would have earned you (let's say) 5% over the same period. Thus, your opportunity cost was 4%. Once the CD expires, you can invest in stocks, but you missed out on that year.

It's not always that easy to quantify, but the principle is the same. If you want to do something, you don't compare it to doing nothing, you compare it to the best possible alternative. In the case of a publicly-funded stadium, I can think of better ways to spend the money, that would have a greater positive effect on our region for a longer time.
56
American sports culture is a poisonous mess in the first place, from high school to pro the system is fucked up.
57
Don't call it a coincidence when Seattle voters refuse to fund a "$300-$500 million" venue for America's blackest sport after the white-and-wholesome-with-the-little-Japanese-guy Mariners got 682 million inflation adjusted dollars for their super deluxe Safeco Field. And don't blame the economy, because we turned down a similar offer ($500 million) when we were blissfully ignorant of the impending financial doom.

Even though Seattle is a basketball town that produces premiere basketball talent (can't say that for baseball, football, hockey, soccer, jai alai, etc.), many of our city's most vocal residents don't want the NBA here because they look at Allen Iverson and JR Smith and they see men they wouldn't want their sons to imitate or daughters to date.

The Stranger excepted, which hates all sports equally because its writers, especially Goldy, sucked at all of them as kids/young adults, an all too influential portion of Seattle is reluctant to fund an NBA team because basketball is just too black for them.

I just spent yet another night listening to my uncle tell me why he doesn't like UW basketball-- just a bunch of thugs who can run and jump. Fuck that shit. Basketball is a progressive, pro-black sport. And if that's not enough for you, the NBA is the most pro-gay league in US sports: John Amaechi, Rick Welts, Steve Nash and Charles Barkley important pro-gay figures at any level, sports or otherwise.

Sports can be progressive-- Jackie Robinson anyone? Or as long as we're talking Seattle and b-ball, how about Seattle resident and NBA HoF'r Bill Russell receiving the Presidential Medal of Honor earlier this year for his contributions to the Civil Rights struggle? And just to get the full picture, let's point out that he got that medal from the first black president, an avid basketball fan, former high school basketball player and brother-in-law of a high profile college basketball coach.

If Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkins, Brandon Roy and Jamal Crawford aren't enough to convince you that basketball has been very good to this city and that the NBA belongs here, go to a Boys and Girls Club or a local high school game and see just how important basketball is to the people of Seattle.
58
Good point.

Leave it to Seattle to have a girls' basketball team but no men's team.

You know, once a Man Eating Tiger escaped from the Seattle Zoo.
It wandered the streets of the city for days before starving to death....

true story.
59
Isn't it wonderful to have the troll here to stick up for oppressed minorities?

Why don't we just get the farm team for Portland, have them play at the Key Arena and call it a day?
60
...so let's not spend money we don't have building an arena for a team that doesn't exist.


But you knows they'll be building it whether we want it or not. Public opinion against stadiums, sports teams, arenas gets overruled. You don't have to go back too many years for proof of that.
61
@24: " Some of yoou are apparently forgetting that our city passed an initiative barring public investment in something like this unless it made a profit"

Sports franchises use a sort of reverse Hollywood accounting to indicate "profit" where there is none, at least for the city. Besides, they're using PREDICTIVE methods, and have every interest in fudging the numbers.

The city should have no part in funding these private ventures.
62
...so let's not spend money we don't have building
Thus Savage continues his validation of the "conservative" position that there is no money and public works in general are a lost cause. In fact, there is plenty of money to harness and use for public good, all we have to do is agree that there is public good to be done in the commons, and then levy the taxes to support that work.

That can't happen as long as Savage and the rest of the self proclaimed progressive movement accept the framing that is presented above.
63
I like the idea and location, again if it is not paid for by taxes
64
http://www.npr.org/2011/08/05/139018592/…

I buried the link at the bottom of @51 and even the 5-paragraph excerpt was apparently too much for people, so there it is again up above. Seriously, go read it. Everything the average voter needs to know about this shit is in the story.

But judging by the large amounts of uncritical enthusiasm and tepid opposition in this thread, on Slog of all places (where sports fans are thin on the ground and critics of the 1% abound), you WILL be getting your b-ball/hockey palace shoved right down your throat.

All those people who say "great idea, just no public money"? I don't think there's been a major stadium deal done in the last 30 years that DIDN'T involve heavy public subsidies and government giveaways, even when "the people" don't think they're footing the bill. Like @61 said, it's all Hollywood accounting, and THEY DO IT EVERY TIME because a) it's so bloody easy, and b) if they stuck to some sort of principle and didn't go for the hidden public subsidies, they forego hundreds of millions of dollars. NOBODY IN BUSINESS DOES THAT. When the public can be duped and the money legally extracted from them while they smile and say "thank you sir, may I have another?", that is what they do.
65
@55: Yes, I read it, did you? Just some guy saying publicly funded stadiums don't make sense without going into any more depth than Dan's "No. No. No."

So, your argument is that we should make no public investment of any size in a stadium because another more profitable opportunity exists? That argument could be applied ad infinitum to any proposed investment you or I could dream up. It's basically reduces to an argument for never investing money in anything.

And to restate my previous point, opportunity costs are irrelevant in the case where we enough money to invest in all of the reasonable opportunities available. Which we do - there's no reason financial reason why we can't kick a little money towards a stadium, spend money on the arts, build infrastructure, etc. It's just a matter of political will.

BTW - your argument would be more compelling if after saying "I can think of better ways to spend the money" you actually named a couple.
66
@65 Investing money without profit is a losing proposition.

Also, if we're going to just throw public money into a fire, can we get a hockey team before a basketball team?

Why doesn't the city buy the land and actually own a team themselves? It'd be so much more profitable.
67
@66: Investing money without profit is a losing proposition.

Are you suggesting we cut all arts funding?

Look, there are an infinite number of ways to structure a deal involving public investment and a sports franchise, ranging from making minor street and zoning changes to accommodate a private stadium to full public ownership of the stadium and team as with the Green Bay Packers. Some of these are shitty deals, others are good.

Never mind that no specific deal has yet been proposed for a Seattle stadium, Dan et al. are arguing that there is no conceivable good deal involving public money. That's ridiculous and provably false - the Packers, for example rake in millions in profit every year for Wisconsin, which is in turn donated to charity.

And this doesn't take into account the cultural benefits of having a sports franchise, which affect a much larger and diverse subset of the population, than say, The Long Walk, a publicly funded invitation only art schlepp.
68
If Mayor McSchwinn helps to make this proposal a reality, I might even consider voting for him, which is pretty much unthinkable otherwise.
69
@67, I don't think The Long Walk cost $500 million like this stadium will.

I don't think it's a good idea to look for ways to spend public money on this -- which McGinn has said he's offered -- when the city is slashing the budgets of domestic violence shelters and other stuff we need and want. How much deferred maintenance on the roads in this city is piling up?

Remember that we are still paying for FOUR new stadiums, including the Key Arena remodel from 1992 (which is now magically "thirty years out of date") -- we are still paying off the KINGDOME debt, for chrissakes. And it doesn't stop here; the Mariners are going to be asking for updates to their palace soon, because every new stadium that gets built in the country ups the luxury ante and makes all the ones that went before look dowdy.

It's well-known that Steve Ballmer is interested in getting into the NBA, and may be one of the people behind this new push. He's worth $15 billion. I think McGinn -- for whom Ballmer can't even vote, as he doesn't even live in Seattle -- should tell him, "you pay for it, then" -- it will only take about 3% of his fortune to do it. And if it's such a great deal, he'll earn all that back, right? Except that it's not, and he knows it.

Top-tier professional sports are profitable largely because they are so heavily subsidized. In fact, teams are a tax shelter for their owners, who "lose" millions in imaginary accounting money but recoup it all many times over as the team value appreciates. So the citizenry typically gets ripped off yet again.
70
"Playing a role in financing" usually means chipping in some money. Our money. The project has to get approved and funded BEFORE it's proven whether it makes a profit, so that little legal maneuver won't save Seattle taxpayers anything. We'll already have paid something for it. Duh.

One more stadium will do wonders for the parking concessionnaires in Sodo; anyone else not so much.
71
The Pepsi Center in Denver was privately built and made profitable.

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Th…

There's enough private money around here to do it, but most of the local moneybags are always looking for the proverbial "somebody else" to pay for something like this. As cool as it would be to have the NHL around here, don't hold your breath for an new NHL spec arena and enjoy the next best gonzo rock and roll sport around here--roller derby.
72
@69: I don't think The Long Walk cost $500 million like this stadium will.

The Long Walk cost $20,000 to culturally enrich exactly 50 people. That's $400 per person.

Using that same standard, the city would have to spend $200 million to bring in an NBA team to give Washington's half million basketball fans equal treatment.

So the citizenry typically gets ripped off yet again.

This isn't true. The citizenry gets its taxes on any earnings a team makes (not all of them are profitable), and again if/when the owners sell the team at a profit.
73
53/seandr: The question is how large of a pubic investment makes sense, and under what terms.

My terms would be: (1) vaginas only, (2) no hairs in my teeth!
74
I hate stadiums because I am an effete left coast liberal who thinks sports are generally pretty dull. I prefer hiking in the mountains or riding my bike to campgrounds. Those are the kinds of public investments I like. That's my opinion, damn it.
75
@71, I'd be cautious about believing any claims in the media that a particular venue was paid for with private funds unless it comes from a detailed study by a panel of academic economists who were themselves independently funded.

From the same story I linked @51 and @64, regarding the Yankees' and Mets' two new stadiums completed in 2009:
...The team owners promised to pay all $1.7 billion in construction costs — but it was later revealed that they were collecting a combined $1.8 billion in lease and tax breaks against the outlays.
The Wikipedia entries for those venues describe a welter of giveaways and foregone revenues.
76
So, at this point, it has become abundantly clear to those of us interested in getting a new facility built for the NHL, NBA, and whatevere else we can put in it.

Dispensing with Key Arena: the Storm play at such a reduced rate that it is hard to call them a for profit company. The council ade that deal to keep the lights on, and draw people to Seattle Center. Having the largest indoor facility in the middle of a very large public space without an anchor tenant is not a great idea. Key Arena isn't "good enough" for junior hockey, the Thunderbirds moved to Kent. The Sonics to OKC, and the Storm was treated as a charity case to keep them from choosing the Everett arena.
The facility is out dated, and its landlord to hopelessly dysfunctional (the schizophrenic council).

Once the Sonics actually left Seattle's grip on being the site of a large indoor facility was dead.

Nobody is taking anything from a general fund for something like this. Everybody knows there is no public general fund money. But a point once made by somebody not named Dan, the county gets its funding from sales tax, if the county can help facilitate the relocation of a half a billion dollar business to King County that is a sales tax generating machine, then they do that. The only "public" money you would likely see would be user fees that would only exist if the facility was actually built. Ticket taxes, parking taxes, out of state athlete sales and use tax (jock tax), none of that draws funds from the general fund.

In terms of "public financing", there are reduced rates that can be achieved having a municipality facilitate the funding for a facility even though all of the actual funding is either private money, and/or those user fees. The other thing that gets you is eminent domain.
More than Seattle would be willing to do this, so, does it get done in Seattle, Bellevue, Bothel, etc...

If Dan would like to be some kind of help, then he can join ArenaSolution.org
77
Seandr, I don't believe that arts is exactly a for massive profit enterprise like sports. Unless you know of somebody who has become a millionaire by repeatedly using arts fundings.
78
Also, Seandr, what exactly do you have against the city running a sports team?: Is this illegal? Have the city of Seattle be the owner, or something. Make a dummy corporation or something, and have that own the team, and all profits go to the city.
79
@78: Examples of community-owned sports teams.
80
@79 Good call. I'm all for community/city-owned sports teams. But, I don't want to pay for a stadium where all the profits go to some already rich asshole.
81
When remodeled Key Arena opened on Nov. 4, 1995, David Stern was interviewed after the Sonics beat the Lakers, and Stern praised the newly-upgraded arena as "very special to me...beautiful building...it's intimate, the sightlines are great...I think Seattle should be very proud."

City of Seattle taxpayers & the Sonics together spent $95 million on this "state-of-the-art" upgrade just 16 years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV4QLK0Hn…

On the NBA's biggest stage, the '96 finals against Michael Jordan's Bulls, the Chicago media raved about Key Arena as a great place to see a game - unlike their own cavernous, sterile United Center.

Key Arena is STILL a great place to see a game. The problem is broken NBA economics, as presided over by legend-in-his-own-mind David Stern. He is a two-faced asshole who plotted with the Okie dung flingers to steal our team.

It's time to stand up to the extortion & bring on a new Sonics team to play in Key Arena, where they belong.
82
No! No! No!

posted by DAN SAVAGE
on SAT, DEC 10, 2011 at 5:01 PM

I've had an epiphany!

We've been getting along fine around here without homosexual marriage, thanks, so let's not spend money we don't have subsidizing and institution that doesn't exist.

K?

Thankx!
83
@72,

How much of that $20,000 went to millionaires and billionaires?
84
Typical Stranger/Savage anti-sports bias. I sure wish gay men would collectively get over the TRAUMATRAUMATRAUMA of high school gym class.

I imagine you'd be 100% in favor of spending money to build a theater for musicals. Now THAT"S important!
85
key arena is fucking great. the ONLY reason it's not good enough is because of luxury suite bullshit. the NBA is essentially blackmailing the public to pay for luxury boxes. FUCK THAT. just say no. this isn't anti-sports, or just because one doesn't like basketball. it's because it's a fucking ripoff. let it be privately funded if they want private luxury.
86
@81 & @85: Well said. Key Arena was an awesome place to watch basketball for the average fan. Even the worst seats (which I sat in several times) had a decent view of the game. I've seen the Blazers play in the Rose Garden. That place is cavernous and impersonal.
87
what about a floating stadium or one built on piers? downtown. incorporate into a cruise ship terminal for gambing access on those boats.
88
@84: What an incredibly bigoted pile of trash. Plenty of gays love sports and plenty of hetero guys think it's useless.

And yeah, agreed with the sentiment that I don't want a dollar of public money going to this effort.
89
@81,@85,@86, Key Arena is also great for Roller Derby, however, a shortsighted too small rebuild thanks to the selfish and greedy Ackerley and a naive seattle center leadership desperate to keep the Sonics, prevented the NHL from coming to the Key and the maintenance of pro roundball for the long term which would have ensured a well occupied arena and a quickly paid off rebuild had it been done properly.

The taxpayers paid for the Key rebuild? I was under the impression that the rebuild was paid for through revenue bonds whereby the revenues from events in the building not taxpayer dollars per se would pay for the rebuild.
90
I would consider the inclusion of the NHL in any publicly financed deal reason to veto it. That is until they bring their lax rules against fighting into alignment with those of the rest of the hockey world.
91
Oh Dan, speak for yourself.

"We" most certainly have NOT been "getting along fine" around here in the absence of The Sonics.

"We" have been pretty pissed off and hurting about it, actually.

For a thought exercise, think of something that you dearly love, that you cannot provide for yourself on your own, something that has a long and storied existence here in Seattle. Now, picture someone ripping that from you and from the rest of Seattle, all those thousands of people who love it, too, and you all just standing by, watching helplessly.

Compassion, sir. Compassion is NOT just a river in Egypt!!