NVR: The Key’s issue is it has one loading bay door and that’s down a quick narrow hill; according to these designs for the SODO Arena show a two to four semi-truck loading bay (slides 44-46). So, that makes it a lot easier for concert shows to get there sets in and out quickly in the Arena; that is really difficult at the Key because of it’s loading bays. As for the financing of the proposed arena, it sounds like you feel that the City could have gotten more out of Hansen; but are generally okay with the deal that the City did sign because the risk is mainly focused on Hansen not the City itself. So that bags the next question; How does this deal compare to some of the other deals in the Seattle area (the Key Arena, Comcast Arena at Everett Event Center, and the Showare Center)?
NDM: Couldn’t tell you, as I don’t follow non-major-league-sports deals that closely. (There are only so many hours in the day.) The Key Arena renocation deal in 1995 was sort of similar to the Hansen plan in that the city put up some money, not a ton, and “repaid” it via kickbacks of its own tax revenues. Hard to compare the two as they were for different purposes, and of course Hansen would be committing for the long term while the Key reno only bought 13 more years of the Sonics, but they’re both solidly in the ballpark of “meh.”
You didn’t ask about CenturyLink and Safeco. I assume because you knew what the answer would be there…
NVR: I have a feeling you aren’t the biggest fan of the deals that built Century Link and Safeco Field (which are paid off); as for Comcast and Showare the Cities really wanted to revitalize their downtown areas and create a lot of jobs. Everett put the shovels in the ground for Comcast and started building before the Silvertips were even a franchise; Kent wanted to build a building for the same reason as Everett, but they weren’t going to get an expansion franchise anytime soon, so they threw themselves at the Thunderbirds to get the building done soon.
Kent’s downtown has started to improve greatly as businesses are investing into the area around the Showare Center. Everett’s run into trouble because the County has put up a lot of roadblocks (the Event Center is located right next to the County jail).
Since we were talking about Safeco Field and Century Link, the tax used to pay Safeco (and part of Century Link) off was allowed to expire in October, 2011. The reason being? Safeco is paid off, boom.