Pity that the proposed Sodo arena’s public plaza won’t be available. Because it would be a fine place to round up the social-media thugs harassing the five female Seattle City Council members who voted no Monday on Chris Hansen’s plans.
But there’s Westlake Center. Maybe Green Lake. Better yet — KeyArena! Lots of people are attempting to pump life into the old barn for less worthy ideas than a public shaming hall. Five bucks per tomato, proceeds to the Lander Street overpass that will otherwise never get built without Hansen’s private millions in the funding package.
The vitriol directed at the five female council members who denied the Occidental Avenue vacation is not only incontrovertibly disgusting on its own, it helps advance a stereotype of the mindlessly belligerent sports fan who is contemptuous of anyone who doesn’t share his (or her) views.
I presume that Sally Bagshaw, Lisa Herbold, Lorena Gonzalez, Debora Juarez and Kshama Sawant can rise above petty vindictiveness to continue to do the professional jobs they were elected to do. But would anyone blame the council members, should Hansen offer an alternative plan — or another high roller advance a similar sports-venue idea needing public support — if they tell Hansen to shove his swash right up his buckles, along with his rodent minions?
Former Seattle mayor Mike McGinn was on 950 KJR radio Wednesday afternoon. He was the one who struck the deal with Hansen in 2012 for a five-year effort to bring back the NBA with a new arena in Sodo that included up to $200 million in construction-bond loans from the city and King County.
He was disappointed in the outcome. He also understood that projects of this interest sometimes have a way of regenerating after a political setback. But not if the gatekeepers are demonized and vilified.
“It’s very damaging to the ultimate cause,” he told Dave Mahler of the rampant cretinism. “You see some of the worst stuff about race, religion and gender. It’s wrong, and now we’re talking about that.
“I think it’s a big setback.”
One of the ugliest posts came from a guy unabashed about using his name, Jason M. Feldman of Lynnwood — an attorney! At least for the moment. Puget Sound Business Journal learned that his license is facing suspension over an episode in which a female client claimed he sexually assaulted her.
Feldman wrote an email to the “dishonorable women of the council,” which said in part, “As women, I understand that you spend a lot of your time trying to please others (mostly on your knees) but I can only hope that you each find ways to quickly and painfully end yourselves. Each of you should rot in hell for what you took from me yesterday.”
Perhaps that is Feldman’s job application for a Cabinet position in the Trump administration.
Independent city reporter Erica C. Barnett posted to her blog Wednesday a sampling of the dreck that washed up on the council accounts. Yes, we all know it’s a minority response, but that’s no solace when you’re a target. It’s a sampling straight from the sewer that has become the 2016 presidential campaign.
Hansen felt compelled to put out a statement on his website that attempted to get the attention of the mouth-breathers.
“While we are all naturally frustrated with the outcome, I know that the vast majority of our passionate and dedicated supporters agree with me that such comments have absolutely no place in our community,” Hansen wrote. “While we may not agree with the Council’s vote, misogynistic insults, vile comments and threats are unacceptable and need to stop. We should all show respect for our elected officials and the legislative process, even if we disagree with their decision.”
McGinn’s successor, Ed Murray, who was a supporter of the arena, also fired back, saying Wednesday, “Seattle is better than this,” although that statement seems more aspirational than accurate.
“The disappointment some felt at the outcome of the vote is understandable,” he said. “But what is not understandable is to bring gender into the conversation. It is wrong. To spout sexist rhetoric about council members is wrong. This must stop.”
As a gay man, Murray talked about being targeted for insults from homophobes, and tried to inspire actual thought.
“Do you really want to talk about women this way?” he said. “Do you really want to talk about your mothers? Your sisters? Your daughters? Is that really the image of sportsmanship, or sportspersonship, that we want to leave particularly to your daughters? I ask you all to back down, back off, and apologize.”
Spectator sports wouldn’t be the same without unbridled passion. But this episode is like the big drunken lout in the 300 section slugging a kid in the rival jersey: Pure recklessness that’s harmful to victim, witnesses and the purpose of the enterprise.
While politics has always been a nasty business, it’s too bad the newbies on the council had to go through this early vituperation over a sports venue. Imagine when it’s something important.
Why bother buying sandpaper bedsheets when you can run for office?
it is regrettable, and it doesn’t help. It’s the worst aspect of the social media world, that people can write and post hateful things, about people they don’t even know. But . . . it might have helped if the council members had explained their positions and their votes a little better. I still haven’t quite figured out why they voted as they did. I think that failure to explain themselves is one reason they’re getting flamed, especially since some of them seemed to change their positions quite late in the process. Having said that, some trolls would have torched them for a ‘no’ vote no matter what the explanations.
Most people do not need an explanation to rail against someone they disagree. Many have a dark soul and they let it out on the internet.
If they didn’t know there would be backlash then they are even more idiotic than we thought they were. Tone deaf socialists
Jeff, you are no paragon of rational discourse yourself.
screw rational discourse it was a dog and pony show anyway they were bought a long time ago
Jeff, you don’t know anything about this council’s history and its people.
Our pal Jeff has a long-standing history of posting irrational, ignorant comments to various online sites. Must be interesting living under those rocks he dragged into a pile with his own bare knuckles.
So I’ve seen. ‘Murca.
Not surprised at all by the ugly reaction. A small sliver of sports fans, most of them out-of-shape middle-aged men, live down to every negative stereotype. I don’t imagine any type of public shaming will have an effect on them. You can’t guilt-trip a narcissistic sociopath.
In fairness you have malcontents in every group. The Bernie Sanders supporters known as the Berniebros have littered the internet with their misogynistic remarks about Hillary Clinton. One even threatened to cut Jim McDermott’s tongue out for supporting Clinton.
“Tattooed thugs” has been the racist code word used by some opponents of any sort of NBA arena in this town.
That said I’ve seen a couple of vulgar misogynistic tweets directed toward the council women and called the sender(s) out on them. That kind of crap does not help those who’d like to see the NBA or NHL in this town.
Fair point, Mark. Pro sports, like politics and elections, invite a tribal mindset that can make reasonable disagreement impossible. Mind you, I still gnash my teeth when I think about how Seattle lost the Sonics. :(
Agreed that tribal topics sprout the worst invective.
As I have stated before, these people are nuts. They live in the 1970’s, they still think its 1979. They put on their yellow and green, and they turn city hall into a Halloween carnival. They listen to Wayne Cody highlights. And even though Mr Thiel says it’s semantics, I maintain that they prevent rational discussion of the issue.
Agreed, it does nothing to advance the discussion. Hate when that happens.
Hey, stop picking on Wayne Cody! He’s no longer available for rebuttle!
There are plenty of rational fans. They just don’t show up in old Sonics jerseys in public.
In ANY given situation like this, there is going to be a core of imbeciles who think that posting invective and threats make them big ol’ tough guys. WHY is this situation any different? The numbers of these people on this issue are not any higher than they are on the $.20 grocery bag charge or the monorail but this is being held up as somehow exponentially more heinous. The Seattle City Council SHOULD be attacked, albeit in more genteel terms, for their asinine head-in-sand insistence on putting the phony agendae of The Port and The Times ahead of fiscal gain, for – if it’s at all true – totally abandoning their sworn responsibility to do the business of Seattle in a professional and impartial way and not because they had a hissy fit about people picking on poor ol’ Sally Bagshaw, and not least because they forgot that, in a democracy, the failure to compromise and consider the good of all your fellow citizens and occasionally be willing to hammer out an arrangement that lets ALL sides have at least a portion of what they want, means that you have NO further right to demand fairness and consideration in kind. To all the wounded and offended parties on the Council, who find the reactions of sports fans so mortally inappropriate, I can only say, “Suck it up, bonehead. You’re the one who decided that being in politics would be such fun but you forgot that it also means that, sometimes, in response to your actions, you’re going to have to take some shit.” Politicians, i could even be said, are society’s Designated Shit Takers; the place where all our complaints and frustrations about how Things Get Done – or not done – properly go. If anyone on the Coulcil entertains a world view that’s so insular as to believe that everyone outside of their circle of Chardonnsy Swillers and Raised Pinkies is all Marquis of Queensbury rules and Victorian gentility, they SHOULD get this dose of Hard Reality. I have their solution, fortunately, close at hand: don’t run for public office if you can’t take what comes with it. You’re welcome.
So to summarize: politicians should accept sexist and racist attacks because they’re politicians.
To some extent, that’s true. The rules aren’t quite the same for a private citizen as they are for a person who is in–usually by their own choice, mind you–the limelight.
Yes. Don’t be a naive child. You know damned well that public figures are going to catch a certain amount of rudeness and invective. It’s a part of the job. They don’t have to like it. Nobody likes it. But it CANNOT be avoided. Actions carry consequences and, sadly, we have in this country and, yes, in Seattle, people who don’t have the common decency to behave in a civilized way. Do you think you or anyone else is going to stop them? How? By saying, “Tsk, tsk, that’s dirty pool, young man/woman!”? People who set themselves up as leaders have to expect this stuff and if they don’t, they STILL have a firm obligation to set it aside and do the business of the city based on the issues, NOT – EVER! – based on hurt feelings or to defend a pal. The Council is all we have to do the business of running this city and their actions on this issue are HIGHLY suspect.
No thanks, Steve. Vehement disagreement is part of public dialogue. Misogyny is not. Nor are politicians designated shit takers. Where in the world did you get that?
The vileness directed at Bagshaw came after the vote. As did your screed.
Unwrap yourself from around the axle.
And you get your head out of the sand. You KNOW damned well that this sort of thing happens. I’m not condoning it and I don’t like it any more than you do but it’s a bedrock fact of life that when decisions like this are made, those making them are in for some VILE invective. To claim otherwise is both ridiculously idealistic and naive. And the labeling of politicians as Designated Shit Takers is glib, I’ll grant you. (I stole it from Dan Jenkins) but accurate, if you take off the rose-colored glasses. Where else do we go with complaints, outrage, and demands for change, when we simply cannot tolerate the status quo? Politicians are our surrogates in the endless battle against our own worst instincts and those of everyone around us. And while nobody with a working brain or conscience likes witnessing what was inflicted upon the Council this week, they still have an ironclad obligation to tune out the static and get on about their business in an OBJECTIVE way. If you’re giving Seattle city council members a free pass to vote out of their umbrage and contempt, I am not.
So since we know the ugly side of human nature will emerge, we should just be still and accept it? Especially when it may further poison the well?
Politics is the only other form of government beside dictatorship. It is messy because it is designed to provide progress through compromise, not fulfilling one side and denying the other. Unfortunately, there were no compromises presented here.
I expect that the council will be professional, but they are human. The misogynists deserve to be called out.
ART, are you being deliberately obtuse about this, or what? It’s NOT any more acceptable for the council to be “human” than it is for misogynists to call out woman simply for being women. But I, for one, REFUSE to cater to this lint-headed uber-PC crap that says that pointing out that a certain group has done something I find reprehensible is out of bounds simply because all of those in that group are of one gender. It wouldn’t have made any difference to me if it had been 3 F-2 M in that five who voted to deny. I’d still be calling them boneheads. The gender has NOTHING to do with it and the fact that certain disturbed individuals decided to cast the votes as estrogen-driven proves just exactly what it proves when other jerks make racist remarks about Malia Obama: that some of us are jackasses. It proves NOTHING past that. “So since we know the ugly side of human nature will emerge, we should just be still and accept it? Especially when it may further poison the well?” Nobody asked you to be still and accept it. That would ahve been foolish, since the proposition you set out was already here to elicit these comments. What I’m suggesting is that we not fecklessly try to make this any MORE unacceptable than it is just because it happens to involve the Seattle City Council and five of its female members. There seems to be a wildly disproportionate reaction, here, because this happened in good ol’ genteel Seattle and we consider ourselves above such extreme piffle but the fact is that we are not and there are jerks among us, even here in the uber-cool PNW. I’m saying that A) It was DEAD WRONG for the city council members who voted against to do so out of some wounded sensibilities and a desire to “protect” Sally Bagshaw. That’s just simply unprofessional and UNACCEPTABLE from people who are SWORN to do the business of one of the nation’s largest cities. They’re “human”? SO? They STILL have a job to do and it REQUIRES reason, a cool head, and an utter devotion to the city’s best interests, not some Good Ol’ Gals’ club wagon-circling around “one of their own”. They don’t represent Sally Bagshaw in the Council. They represent their constituents. If YOU want to give them a free pass to abandon their fiduciary obligations whenever they get their hackles up, that’s your right. I absolutely DO NOT. And B) all of this editorializing is giving the very same small group of arrested development misfits who mouth off about ANY issue an importance and a credibility FAR beyond their worth, all in the name of not looking Un-PC. Five WOMEN voted against the arena project. They have some scorn and hard feelings coming and that’s a part of their job. It is also VERY much a part of their responsibility, in return for the public trust invested in them, to step back from their umbrage and think and act dispassionately. And anyone who doesn’t grasp that responsibility shouldn’t be holding public office and you should NOT be holding them to some vastly lowered standard.
america is a mess. we need someone to clean it up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2uWcukaSpg
Forgot about Bob Roberts. Timely reminder. Thanks. And Alan Rickman!
maybe the councilors voted no because they realize that the nba caters even more to the elites than the port of seattle. isn’t that what kshama sawant basically said. and she’s right.
That was a part of her argument. The port managed to make itself a victim, which when you think about it, is a helluva feat.
the gender of the majority of the councilors on the vote should be irrelevant and yet sportspressnw started its story off like this: By a 5-4 vote — five women against, four men for — the Seattle City
Council Monday afternoon voted to reject ceding a portion of Occidental
Agree that’s a poor lead, but even I noticed the split before I saw it called out in any article. Doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the reasons, but is notable.
was it untrue? No it was not it was absolutely true
The fact cannot be helped but noted, because it rarely happens, To ignore it would not be honest.
Radio sports people called Howard Schultz all the names in the book when he sold the Sonics. The sports talk shows also lambasted the general public and voters for not supporting every sports related property tax levy. Some sports radio hosts actively campaigned for their passions using false arguments such as the regional economic benefit. It’s all good. We’re mostly all adults. No need to troll or lie. Let’s have a robust discussion.
How about those Mariners? Went to the Wednesday day game. Comped a $40 ticket. $30 for parking. $15 for a little lunch. Nice touch putting pay day loan machines in Safeco Field.
You mean the Mariners who still had Safeco Field built after the voters of King County said no? The tax subsidized Mariners who were opposed to Hansen building an arena with mostly his own money.
I enjoy sports, but I think its pretty simple: there is no team. There is no indication there will be a team anytime soon that I am aware of, certainly not within the time frame of the MOU. Maybe an outside chance at the NHL? But don’t they have to rewrite the MOU to allow that? (or maybe they did and I lost track). The Kingdome was finally paid off 15 years after it was imploded. There is the tunnel and waterfront fiasco in progress. There is no broad-based support for the city to hitch its financial risk wagon to another sports palace, no matter how good the deal is. Why should they jump into this sort of thing at this point?
It takes a pretty high level of cognitive dissonance to accuse a politician for being too cozy with the Port – a massive economic engine for over 100 years – while at the same time threatening, berating, and wishing death upon them for not kissing the boots of the NBA – the group that sold us down the river a few short years ago – in hopes that may deign to grace us with their presence once again.
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Your reflect sentiments held by many non-residents.
Yes, the would have to rewrite the MOU, but in order to even get that chance, the sequence required a vacation so that if and when a team became available, Hansen could pounce with few delays.
The idea of re-embracing the NBA is harder than it seems.
Art, I have a couple responses:
1: I am not sure what your “non-residents” reference means. It sounds like a thinly veiled shot that I am some klind of “outsider”. I have always respected your writing, and mostly consider you a reasonable voice. But that is frankly a crap response almost worthy of the GOP. I am a resident. I first moved to Seattle out of college in 1990. I was here through the whole Kingdome/Safeco situation. Bagshaw is my council rep. I know plenty of other residents who feel the same way.
2: I am also aware that the MOU requires a team to start construction. But I also believe that being able to pounce on a team at a moments notice to build an arena in a highly contested location is not – and should not be – a top priority for this city.
3: Without a team anywhere on the horizon I see no reason to open that door.
I go to an occasional Mariner, Sounders, Storm, and Reign game. I grew up in Red Sox country in the Fisk,/Yazstremski/Lynn glory years and love Fenway Park. I saw the Celtics in the old Boston Garden. I went to Zephyrs (pre-Rockies) baseball and Rockies (NHL) hockey in Denver. I am not anti-sports. I just feel that compared with the lack of public resources available (no thanks to Tim Eyman) and the vast resources available to sports teams and leagues, it is not a significant enough social contributor to be worthy of significant public financial support.
Green, I erred by not finishing my thought. I meant to say “non-residents of the sports bubble.” I can only ascribe the dropped words to answering readers late at night. Sorry.
The sports-bubble population too often forgets that big-city governments have a large number of higher priorities, I think Hansen offered a great deal, but times have changed since Safeco and the Clink were funded. LA and SF won’t fund sports venues, and that’s what we’re seeing in Seattle.
I appreciate the clarification. It seemed a little out of character.
I am glad to see more cities refusing to play the blackmail game teams used for so long.
I am a listener of WBUR’s “Only A Game” sports radio program. Here is a story from way back in 2012: http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2012/12/15/stadium-sports-spending Pay special attention to the comments about the Sprint Center, which I actually visited for an NCAA women’s tournament game a few years ago when I was in KC for a convention.
Also note the comment about the Royals reliably turning in losing seasons. :)
Somebody funded bringing the Rams back to LA. Seattle’s higher priorities seem to invlove destroying the affordale housing market in order to save it. What we’re seeing in Seattle is: Greed is a beautiful thing, as long as you’re the one benefitting from it.
Kroenke picked up the Rams tab to LA with a gargantuan football campus/stadium. But he felt the risk was worth it for the No. 2 market. I’m guessing Hansen thinks an arena in the No. 13 market won’t pencil without the $125M loan.
the loan route made sense because the borrowing power of a city is far greater than of an individual, and it would be easier for Hansen to get all of the ducks in a row in terms of financing the project. in terms of building this himself, the upfront outlay is now enormous. this is all further complicated now, of course, because the Kings fetched a ludicrous pricetag in the end, which means buying another franchise is even more expensive than before.
while i think the vote was somewhat short-sighted – the Port’s contentions about the economic losses seem nonsensical, and economic benefits from facilities like arenas often take years to be fully realized – it is ultimately understandable. Hansen’s found himself ultimately in a catch .22, whereby he cannot get a building without a franchise, nor a franchise without a building. sadly, this proposal, on balance, seemed about as good as all sides were going to get.
The city’s contribution is the lower cost of borrowing. Municipalities get rates at about half the cost for a private developer.
It was the best deal Seattle has been offered for new, top-shelf facility. It’s a shame the parties couldn’t have come up with a way to assure the Lander St. overpass gets built along with the arena.
Feldman sounds scary. We got a view into why his license is in jeopardy. And to attach his name – this guy has real problems.
It’s a shame there still exist people with such small minds as those sending their vitriol to these women.
Agreed. He’s not only vile, but stupid too. I thought you had to be smart to have a law degree. Hey the more sex offenders out themselves, the easier it will be to get them behind bars.
There’s a difference between “smart” and “intelligent.” ;)
As we’ve seen in the presidential campaign, there are many more than some of us assumed.
Hansen seems to have ticked off the NBA with his Sacramento shenanigans, and might not have a shot at a team if the arena was already built. Silver’s recent comments weren’t meant to help him. The city council is populated with idiots of all genders and persuasions, but they have insights and information not available to the public and probably made the right call. Threats and insults are disgusting and counterproductive.
The NBA was already in “Seattle is a stick to wave at cities reluctant to build an arena” mode before most of us had ever heard of Chris Hansen.
True. Hansen’s plan didn’t surface until 2011.
I think the thing that fans are frustrated about are not the gender of those who voted, ‘no’, but their rationale for doing so.
Herbold said she didn’t want the arena to sit vacant, meaning she presumed Hansen would start to build once he got the permit, which makes it sound like she didn’t understand the MOU.
Bagshaw was in, and then was out. She flopped positions.
Gonzalez sounded like a ‘yes’ in her speech, until she said, ‘no’.
I think it was Juarez who wondered, ‘why not Key Arena?’. While we say to ourselves, ‘um, you know Hansen’s not gonna pay to remodel Key Arena, right?’.
They all quoted “family wage jobs” at the port being put in jeopardy having an arena there, but to your point Art, there was no data to back that up.
There’s a rumor that because the guys at KJR were getting on their case, and acting a little misogynistic, they bonded together.
And to turn down what is in essence a gifted arena, with an additional 20% of cost overruns as civic gestures, and failing to undo a horrible political decision made by the city council years ago … well, it’s because of these reasons it’s truly frustrating.
Not that the guys wanted it and the women didn’t.
Arenas aren’t good investments for taxpayers. The only jobs they produce are service jobs and those aren’t the type of jobs that grow economies. The other problem is that SoDo isn’t a retail area. I would love to see an NBA team back but stick it in a retail area like Bellevue.
SoDo is a stadium district, perfectly suited for the arena. The best locale with public transportation. It was a joke of an argument from the Port and Mariners. Idiot leftist politics and Seattle process took this one. Can’t recognize a $1B gift to our economy when they see it.
What the hell is the matter with you? Do you work for the port? That ridiculous argument is just another lame rationale cooked up by arena opponents who have no REAL way to rebut the plan. From your silly screen name and your hopelessly naive comments, you come off as either a Port shill (and a REALLY clumsy one) or someone very young and imperceptive. Maybe, if you have no ideas of your own, that you’ve thought through, you shouldn’t be posting online.
Actually, I’d beg to differ. They are good investments for taxpayers. Think about the sales tax generated on the literally millions of tickets and concessions sold each year by the Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders.
And both of their stadiums were paid off ahead of schedule.
There’s also the civic investment. There’s a big difference in the economies of Seattle vs. Portland, and one of the differentiators is big league sports.
That being said, if I was mayor of Bellevue, I’d be rolling out the red carpet to Chris Hansen right about now, and tell the Seattle City Council to forget it.
This social media, et al, reaction shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Scour any news content readers’ comment section. Turn on the radio and listen to any radio talk show (if you can stomach it). View cable television “news” pundits any night of the week. That’s how we as a culture communicates with each other (anonymously if most cases): if there’s a disagreement, toss in an ad hominem response about their sex, their physical appearance, racial or ethnic heritage. Anything other than using a well thought-out, reasoned response. Just another step in dumbing down America.
Comment sections and message boards are one thing but you have harassment going on.
The absence of surprise doesn’t not dilute the insult. But the level oif misogyny was griim.
Has anyone questioned Geoff Baker about his claim that comments about Sally Bagshaw made by male KJR sports radio host allegedly influenced some council members to vote no? Because two of the no votes have said that claim is BS.
You didn’t need a comment by anyone at KJR to know which way Bagshaw was going to vote. Long before this issue arose I deduced she was — excuse me, all you PC folks — dumb as a post and twice as duplicitous.
How righteously disingenuous to write about “cretins” when Sportspress Northwest itself led off its first story on the vote results with the following: “By a 5-4 vote — five women against, four men for — the Seattle City Council Monday afternoon voted to reject ceding a portion of Occidental Avenue South.” Now get back to some of the more bizarre and fanciful “impartial” ideas that Sportspress Northwest has thrown about on this story: Come up with more lawsuit ideas for Hanson that will be laughed out of court in a day.
Spot on, Art. Your journalism is, as usual, outstanding and a benefit to all. This is the place where I can be a sports fan and feel like I’m not in the presence of complete morons. Hilarious Trump reference…made my day.
Your kind words are appreciated.
Aside from Sawant–who was never going to vote for the proposal–the women just plain didn’t do their homework. I mean “why not Key Arena”–does anyone who’s put a tiny bit of study into this not know the answer? And buying into the Port’s lies–pathetic.
It may be totally coincidence that the 5 ‘nay’ votes were all women–but equally, it may not be.
So what you are saying is that the reason the vote turned out the way it did is attributable to the men’s superior study, investigation and critical, while the women were lazy and gullible. Got it. Glad you figured out how women work.
Harrell and Burgess were active in leading the council’s look at Hansen’s project, and in resolving the scheduling flap. But that’s how these things work: One or two take a lead and the others trust them to be fair with the facts.
The council has the responsibility to look out for the city’s assets, such as KeyArena. The AECOM report gave enough false hope for the Key’s future to rationalize a no vote, even though the remodel to satisfy NBA/NHL is not realistic.
One of the key problems with these jerks, like Feldman, is that they DON’T even live within the city limits of Seattle, which discredits them even more!!! Which raises another fundamental issue with this arena. This city of Seattle would bear the brunt of the project, albeit only a loan that would get paid back over time. The rest of King County residents and the remaining metro area residents in Snohomish, Pierce, or Kitsap Counties will benefit by the ability to use the facility, but not skin in the game as taxpayers. Too bad we don’t have a way to filter most of these morons out of the conversation. As a city of Seattle resident, I’m powerless to vote against most of the 5 council members, such as Bagshaw or Sawant, who voted against this project because my district representative Rob Johnson supported the street vacation. My only hope is to vote against the “at large” member of the council who did not support the project. But, that’s still far down the road. Just like the hope of landing an NBA team, per Adam Silver. Sometimes it just sucks to be sports fan living in the city of Seattle because our politics are not in alignment with the powers that be.
It’s awful that “those people” reacted as they did. But, surely it couldn’t come as THAT much of a surprise to anyone who has ever participated in or even browsed an online discussion forum on any given day. Especially a non-moderated one with no censors. Hiding behind the anonymity of the internet whilst spewing ___-ist garbage with no you-know-whats given to the feelings of the intended target is nothing new and can rear its ugly head anyplace, anytime. Even right here in uber-P.C. Seattle.
It’s great to see people speak out and denounce it, but, I just wish it didn’t take the potential failure of an arena proposal to bring the NBA and NHL back to Seattle before people are willing to do it, en masse.
Here is a little tidbit from people a lot smarter than most of us about how stadium economics work in the real world. “Study after study has been done that shows that the overall economic impact of building stadiums is almost always negligible. Every dollar that’s spent in an area, going to a game, or going to a restaurant in the area, it would have been spent somewhere else in the community. So, you’re just sort of shuffling money around, you’re not actually accumulating new wealth.” http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2012/12/15/stadium-sports-spending
Please take careful note that KC still has no permanent team in the arena they built.
To Hansen’s credit, he has never argued that the arena would be an economic driver, for the very reasons cited. He and others call it the substitution effect: Discretionary dollars will be spent at one place or another. The only minor uptick is from dollars of followers of visiting teams, but in a market the size of Seattle’s, it is indeed negligible.
The rationale for any sports venue in a large city should never be made on the claim of economic improvement.
I was also putting it in context of the Port, which is a massive economic driver. I don’t buy the argument that the arena would kill the port, but what political advantage would there be in picking a fight with the Port? The risk/benefit on that score seems tilted the wrong way.
History shows there is no will to do another massive remodel of the Key, so I don’t buy that either, especially with the Key actually doing better financially since the Sonics left.
I am not trying to paint Hanson negatively. Other than burning political capital with his shenanigans in Sacramento he seems like a pretty reasonable guy offering a reasonable offer, but reasonable doesn’t mean good enough. Many of his supporters seem to have blinders on to the economic and political reality.
There have been four or five of these “studies” done that “prove” that arenas have no impact…ALL paid for by opponents of whatever arena is in question. Use your freakin’ BRAIN, willya? Having an arena that brings in between 41 and 80 games a year – depending on whether hockey and basketball are both residents – with all the vendors, support staffs, mechanical repairs, maintenance, advertisers, apparel manufacturers, TOURISTS, traveling league execs, the convention and business bookings and concerts and civic events it will host…and you see NO impact upon its area and home city? Do you also speak with dolphins? Which is greater, 80 or zero? These studies have been discredited a hundred times over. Ask the businesses on Lower Queen Anne whether the loss of the Sonics had an “impact” upon their business. Oh, wait, I forgot. A LOT of ’em are GONE because they suddenly had 40+ nights of capacity crowds go away. It’s your own falut if you read something like that study and just stop because it satisfies your own viewpoint. If you had read farther, you’d have seen TONS of empirical evidence of what a arena CAN mean to its host area.
Note: all-caps below are used for emphasis, not to indicate yelling.
1: Can you point to the anti-arena forces that paid for the studies referred to in the article? Here is another perspective: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2015/01/31/publicly-financed-sports-stadiums-are-a-game-that-taxpayers-lose/#3fcae2cd6183 I will acknowledge that not all aspects of all stadium deals apply to this one, but some of the same principles apply: you are moving the jobs, spending, and revenue around, not creating significant new revenue. The original Sports on Earth article http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/40595178 heavily linked, including a Deadspin article that is itself heavily linked, with more support in the comment string: http://deadspin.com/5964116/animated-infographic-watch-as-americas-stadiums-pile-up-on-the-backs-of-taxpayers. Clearly there is ample reason to be wary of public financing without a significant, clear, guaranteed and protected benefit to the city.
2: Have you been to lower Queen Anne recently? I see a ton of new mixed-use development going in.
3: Key Arena actually is making money, something it couldn’t do with the Sonics there. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/keyarena-turns-a-bigger-profit-than-it-ever-did-with-the-sonics/ This is partly because the city signed a lousy deal the last time they renovated the Key to make it NBA compliant. How long did that last? Less than 15 years.
4: The article doesn’t state there is no impact in the neighborhood the arena is built in. It says it changes where the money is spent, but the overall net impact on a city is negligible, and in some areas negative.
I can accept that as far as public financing goes this was a decent and reasonable offer worth considering. But the point is that it is far less than a clear win. When you factor in the minimal positive economic impact, and weigh the potential negatives (traffic, family wage jobs, port efficiency, and the potential negative impact on Key Arena, a City asset) and decide that it is not economically and/or politically worth the risk – ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE IS NO TEAM and no indication there will be a team – that is also a perfectly reasonable and responsible position. Neither position is clearly 100% right or wrong, but the council’s decision is certainly defensible.
Sorry if that is too nuanced for you.
I do agree with Art, that had there been a major mitigating piece involved, like the Lander bypass, the conversation might tilt a different direction. But it wasn’t, and that’s the way negotiation works. A GOOD offer is not necessarily the RIGHT offer. There is no call for the level of threats and vitriol over the decision.