It’s been pretty quiet on the Seattle arena front ever since the City Council denied the street vacation. Since then, Chris Hansen has taken another stab at trying to get things to go his way by making his arena deal fully privately financed. Again, seems like a deal he could’ve brought to the table initially to get this thing going – just like he could’ve offered above-and-beyond what the Kings were worth, when they were on the open market, to force everyone’s hand in backing down – but I guess I sort of understand. You hold some concessions back in the event your opponent asks for a little more, so they can feel like they got one over on you. But, again, feels like it’s too little, too late for Hansen.
The city has opted to go another direction; they want a renovated Key Arena. It’s a city asset, and they want to maximize its potential financially, so you can see where they’re coming from. Is it good for the local sports fans? Absolutely not. Is it good for the neighborhood – already maxed to a breaking point with residents and traffic congestion? Absolutely not. Is it even good for the city? That remains to be seen. But, the city went and solicited plans to renovate the Key, and they’ve sided with the Oak View Group.
OVG is saying all the right things, of course. They’re going to build a world-class arena. It’ll be top notch as far as acoustics are concerned, which is a good thing, because the Key is severely lacking at the moment. They’re also going to make it work with the current roof – being protected as a historical landmark or some damn thing – by digging down into the Earth to retrofit it for the NBA and NHL. And, good news! They’ve already got a potential ownership group ready and willing to bring the NHL to Seattle.
This is absolutely critical to the whole thing; of course, I’ll believe it when I see it. OVG is supposedly building this thing to be a concert venue first and foremost; that’s how they can justify starting with construction without an anchor tennant attached. This thing will apparently be financially viable even if there’s no NBA or NHL team. That scares me a little bit. Because where is their motivation? Is OVG going to be part-owners of any team we bring in? I’m not totally sure I know all the ins and outs of this thing, because I know the city gets a slice, and the prospective team ownership group gets a slice, and now OVG gets a slice; how many ways can you slice this thing to where it’s profitable for all parties involved?
The only thing that matters to me is getting the ol’ foot in the door. Let’s get a winter sport attached to this thing and go from there.
If I had my choice, if it were all up to my decision, obviously I’d do away with this Key Arena nonsense, approve the SoDo plan (and its fucking street vacation), and work things out so if the NHL has to be first, then so be it. With SoDo, there’s no wait; with the Key, I believe they won’t be able to start construction until 2019 or 2020. With SoDo, we’ll be able to build the type of palace that the leagues can be proud of; with the Key, it’s still going to be one of the smallest buildings in either league, and it’ll likely be out-dated as soon as it opens. What happens when we have to renovate the Key yet again in another decade, to put in more suites or seats or a bigger jumbotron or whathaveyou? On top of that, the SoDo area can handle the traffic; the new Key will absolutely cripple South Lake Union on gamedays. In SoDo, you’ll be able to take a bevy of public transportation options; in SoDo, you can actually park if you want to drive. At the Key, you can really do neither. There are bus lines, but no light rail. The Monorail is a stupid joke that the Seattle Times is trying to pass off as viable (even though, DUH, there’s nowhere to park in downtown Seattle either). Also, don’t be surprised if the average fan is priced out of the Key; how else are they going to recoup costs and what will almost certainly be construction cost overruns?
It’s frustrating because the city of Seattle is, once again, making the wrong choice. The Seattle Way is also The Way Of The Moron. Seattle loves to look a gift horse in the mouth while it’s getting buttfucked by an STD-riddled Trojan Horse. I can’t wait for this to blow up in everyone’s faces so all of us fans of the SoDo Arena can tell these cunts, “I Told You So!” Except, of course, by that time, the SoDo land will have been sold for office buildings and condos, and we STILL won’t have the fucking Sonics back in Seattle.
It’s really starting to dawn on me that I’m never going to have the Sonics back in my lifetime. Even if I have a good 30 years left in me, which is probably being pretty generous, where is the path to getting the NBA back? Getting the NHL will be cool, and I’m sure I’ll embrace it wholeheartedly once it comes, but does that mean an NBA team isn’t far behind? I wonder.
I keep hearing about how the NBA wouldn’t want to be a second-class citizen in a town that got the NHL first. I don’t think that’s necessarily true, because I think this is a Sonics town through and through, but you could understand why they’d think that.
The fucked up thing is that Seattle is growing like crazy. It’s got all these tech dollars here just burning holes in pockets! These leagues should be busting down the doors to come to Seattle! And, quite frankly, with how this city is pricing out the common man, thanks to the growth of Amazon, among others, we DESERVE to have these sports in this city. We should get SOMETHING for how our city is being overwhelmed by the elites.
But, in the end, we’ll probably just get screwed over like we always do. If you ask me, THAT’S the real Seattle Way.