Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TheNewsTribune.com: The City of Seattle will present its proposal on Dec. 1 to a task force created by the Legislature

In yesterday's Tacoma news Tribune Eric D. Williams reported that on December 1st the City of Seattle will present its proposal for renovating Key Arena to the Washington State Joint Task Force on Local Financing Options for King County.

A couple interesting paragraphs at the end of the story should give readers an idea of what role Brian Robinson is taking.

The city will have another supporter championing its proposal in Olympia. Brian Robinson, co-founder of the group Save Our Sonics, is part of a lobbying group called Sports and Activities for Families. The group plans to help the city’s funding proposal pass in Olympia. The group's effort will be led by Ryan Dicks, son of U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair.

"We want to put this issue in front of the legislators and make sure it doesn’t get dropped," Robinson said. "We’re going to go to work to make sure that it stays front and center and receives some of the publicity that the city hasn’t been good in attracting."

Tax money key to arena renovation, ERIC D. WILLIAMS; eric.williams@thenewstribune.com, Published: October 28th, 2008 12:30 AM

The Sonics were not Saved, okay. The franchise left, the symbols went to the Museum of History and Industry.
The effort here, and in other places, is to resolve the arena issue. My interest is centered on the Seattle Center, and that a dead Key Arena on the Seattle center site is a drag on the entire site. Many of us hard core Sonics fans have let the idea of the team, and the NBA, go as a goal. Brian Robinson has written as much at SonicsCentral.com: What if we don’t miss them?
The question Mr. Robinson asks is this:
I have to ask former Sonics fans, and fans of the NBA, what the risk to the league is in our valuable market. What if we simply don’t miss them? What if we fail to get it done this year and then decide not to spend more effort on it going forward?

My answers are these:
The risk to the league is that the value is contained in the interest and value of the markets competing for the product (pretty basic business value relationship). If you can not find a buyer for a house then the value drops. I think this is where the NBA really is, that they are a bubble economy, and that Seattle, as well as Oklahoma City are presenting remodeled arenas as preferred venues. Kansas City is offering the same thing, St. Louis as well. I will not be shocked to see the Kings effort to build a new arena in a major new development in California fall through. That is not just a function of the current economy, but the actual market for the NBA. Key Arena renovation is the best offer this market, or any market, should be offering the NBA product. They are 3 years away from reliving the NHL process of 5 years ago if they are not careful. David Stern is not careful, he is chasing the business model that crushed the NHL, nobody wins.

What if Brian Robinson and the lobbying group called Sports and Activities for Families, along with the City of Seattle, fail? Then they should accept the reality that they made the best of this effort, but the public/private partnership to rebuild an arena will not produce a solution. Done.
Thanks Brian.
City, you are now obligated to get out of the way of a private group that may want to build a new arena, maybe partner with that group to provide a way for a private group to locate land in the city for an arena, and figure out a redueced role or date to close it.

Key Arena is not likely going to survive in this market long term without a significant upgrade. Either compete or not, if the answer is not then crush most of Key Arena and use the bowl as an out door, partly covered amphitheater, when a new private arena takes its place 10 years from now.

I started my blog right after the city and Clay Bennett agreed that there would be a settlement. I have moved on. Brian Robinson has moved on. Move on.
If you still want NBA basketball, it only happens with an arena.
If you never want to see NBA basketball again and you live in Seattle, your public arena is dying, you can get a 300 million dollar upgrade for 150 million dollars in mostly hotel taxes, or Sonics fans parking and buying tickets.

The fans have mostly moved on from the team leaving, hopefully the sports haters can as well, and recognize that their memory of Key Arena is the only current thing about that public building.

Have a great day,
Mr Baker
Sent from my iPhone


Anonymous said...

For the want of a building a team was lost.


Anonymous said...

You know I haven't heard a peep of protest against the proposed Husky Stadium renovation. Even Cougs aren't whining right now. Not that I'm against it at all but it seems as though that will pass through the legislature like a greased piglet through a cornshoot. An almost forgone conclusion. On the other hand, here comes Key Arena renovation...Keep your vaseline handy.

Mr Baker said...

I expect the opposite by December. There was a coug whine when UW announced their plan. I read something on a coug site while looking for information on the Key Arena proposal that will not show up (in public) for another month.
Make no mistake, the cougs are hot, they are paying for upgrades to their stadium through fees on ticket sales.

The only people fighting over the Key Arena proposal will be the people in Seattle to stupid to accept 225 million dollars and an upgraded arena. Nicol Brodeur?
The people wanting to fight about something will pick the big dog for two reasons: 1 the love/hate relationship Seattle has with UW; the hate/hate relationship WSU and UW have.
Cougs draw lots of people to games played on the wet side of the state, within King County.

Anonymous said...

More from David Brewster at Crosscut. At least he's not dismissing it out of hand.


Isaac Alexander said...

Here's a different proposal for a "new" arena in Seattle.

Mr Baker said...

the only thing new about that proposal is that it was rewritten recently.
They do not have any land, they are not taking an active, working pier 46, the SoDo areas they are looking at will cost a bunch of money that only makes sense if they had an actual NBA team ready to move in. They could not build it and risk the arena being empty.

If they had the land and team we would not be reading about it in a business monthly, they would be digging holes.
I really do think there is a market for it here, they simply do not have two key parts, still.
If the public funding fall through I think you would see somebody bankroll that effort and take the risk, but not now

Isaac Alexander said...

I want to see Seattle Center remain a vibrant part of Seattle. I just don't understand why it appears that renovating Key Arena is the "only" solution from the Mayors office for bringing the Sonics back to Seattle. Ideally, I would like to see Key Arena built into what it originally was during the Worlds Fair in 1961, an exhibition hall. Then a new arena that could contain both and nba and nhl team would be built east of Qwest Field.

However, the economy turning into a time of transition certainly puts a damper on my "ideal" plan. Sigh.

Mr Baker said...

the type of non-sporting eventer you can put in an arena generate more revenue, and repay the public money investment.
They see that as a step backword for Key Arena.

The big bummer is that bringing the WSCTC expansion to Seattle Center and combining it with a Key Arena rebuild is too expensive.