|Could a new sports palace be built here?|
As you have undoubtedly heard, there are plans that are currently being looked at for a new arena in Seattle. The Seattle Times obtained several emails and documents due to a public disclosure request. These documents show that a 44-year old San Francisco businessman (and Seattle native) Christopher Hansen is working with city officials to finance a new arena in the South Downtown (SoDo) District. This new arena would house a NBA and NHL team; the Sacramento Kings (NBA) and Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) are listed as two possible tenants of the new building.
The major reason the original Sonics couldn’t get an arena deal done in Seattle was because the City didn’t want to foot the bill for another pro sports stadium. According to the Seattle Times, Hansen says he can foot most of the cost for construction of the new building; “In an initial email laying out his vision, Hansen told city officials an arena could be built with minimal impact on taxpayers.”(Thompson, Miletich, 2012) Obviously this is fantastic news for fans of the NBA and the NHL in the City of Seattle. However, I find a couple of things to be very rotten with this whole deal, and I will explain after the jump.
The first thing I find rotten is the possibility of doing to Sacramento what Clay Bennett did to us. After all the Kings have been in Sacramento for 27 years, and have developed a loyal fan base down there. I understand that a lot of people in Seattle really want another NBA team, but is it worth it to do it to a city that is in the exact same situation as we were in 2008 (smallest building in the league and an ownership group that appears to have their feet half way out the door)? I honestly don’t think it is, screwing over another loyal fan base just to fill our burning desire is just wrong. After all two wrongs don’t make it right.
As for the Coyotes, despite having a relatively new building (it opened in 2003), are financially struggling. The NHL owns the team and is actively looking for a local business man to step up and by the team. So far no luck, and the league is considering opening up the bidding process for the Coyotes (who used to play in Winnipeg, when they were known as the Jets).
The other thing I find rotten in this deal is how screwed over the Seattle Center will become. The Sonics were the main draw to the Seattle Center during the winter and once they departed, business in the area went into a precipitous decline. Can you imagine what is going to happen if another arena opens in Seattle and begins to steal what little business the Key Arena has now? I have a feeling it won’t be very good for the City.
Look, I miss the Sonics. I miss having an NBA team we can call our own. But is it really worth taking an NBA team from a city that already support them?