Wednesday, November 19, 2008

By now the readers that go to have been encouraged by Brian Robinson in his story about Ray Allen to go to a new web site,

It is not difficult to understand why, the Sonics franchise is gone, as of last July; the franchise went to Oklahoma City, and the symbols went to the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle. There isn't a Sonics to Save, but there is a new future to try for, and the arena is the key.

What is left is Seattle Center's Key Arena as the main focus. Through the trials and tribulations the utility of Key Arena stayed unresolved for NBA interests, and civic interests.

Few people can argue that watching an NBA game is anything but great. What is not great is nearly everything else about the arena. Fewer people can argue that Key Arena that going to an event there is anything but slightly above average. The Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team will complete their evacuation from the facility to Kent, Washington (though they have the desire to still call themselves "Seattle"). They didn't leave because of anything but the facility the lease terms.

What is not slightly above average is the use of Key Arena by non-civic, non-pro basketball activities. The Everett Events Center will draw arts and entertainment acts that could be held at Key Arena by using the curtain to isolate the activity. The new Kent facility, where the Thunderbirds now play, will also compete for similar sized activities. For larger events are completely bypassing Seattle. Some of the acts you see are there for more than one show, getting in and out of the facility is a challenge.

Regardless, if you are a Sonics fan, the means to an end has always been an arena solution. Right now, the only feasible solution in Seattle is a complete renovation of Key Arena. Expect the city to have the NBA consult on the Steve Ballmer portion of the arena.

We are were we are.

A few days ago Brian Robinson sent me an email letting me know that will direct people to visit

I write stories there at SonicsCentral, Brian said I was welcome to write at the new site, though nothing has been arranged. The new site is advocacy web site (Sports and Activities for Families (501c4). I will likely write stories there, I am not a lobbyist, I am not paid, they are not obligated to tell me anything or publish anything I write.
If I choose to write about their public activities I post it here. But beyond that, I write about this subject and until something is arranged for me to write there I will keep writing here.

Begin forwarded message:
Mr Baker
Date: October 25, 2008 6:01:35 PM PDT
To: Brian Robinson
Subject: Could you answer a few questions about SC?

Could you answer a couple easy questions?
Your web site,, now encourages those readers to, what will the change in focus mean for the readers of

The new site is likely going to attract and broaden the types of people that may not have any interest in NBA basketball, any words of advice you want to give to posters and readers of SonicsCentral stories and threads?

Do you see this new effort to take on stories and conversations about the entire Seattle Center site?
Will you have stories written by local politicians, and media people, similar to a reader might see at
I sent the email with the questions 3 weeks ago, and have not had any answers and there hasn't been anything from Brian letting me know about writing on the new site, like, how access the site.
Over the past couple weeks there was a tab for a forum on the site, that is gone.
I am not sure what its diminished function is supposed to provide the public.


Anonymous said...

They're taking awhile to get back to folks. I got a response from Ryan Dicks after asking about the seating bowl. It was very brief. I think there is still some planning and formulating going on wuth the site. You'd be great asset to them though so I don't quite understand any hestantcy on their part.

Anonymous said...

Either I am not reading this right or is what has in store is an upgrade to Key Arena for the NBA and nothing else?

If this is the case then all I have to say is why are is the same mistake that was made with the last remodel of Key Arena and not make it suitable for an NHL team to play going to be made?


An NHL Fan in Seattle

Mr Baker said...

Tthey are not saying anything different than the city. I do not think they will entertain more than one idea while trying to have the funding sacured.
Ballmer being able to get another team has been answered by the current economic conditions, so, once state funding is secured the question of how to get the most out of the remodel will be the open question, just as it was 15 years ago.

As a UW student, admittedly an old one, I am sent communications, today the email from Mark Emert is that one way they can help the economy is to accelerate capital improvements and construction projects on campus since "they have already been paid for".
Higher ed is looking at a 20% budget hit. His answer in some measure is that the UW will generate state revenue through construction jobs. He is also asking for ideas to reduce costs.
That is the name of the game right now.
Getting funding for the Seattle Center can be argued as getting 300 million in construcion jobs for the cost of 75 million from the state, all of which is eventually recovered in the construction activity and having a 350 million dollar business move back into the state.
After that funding is secure the same newspaper writers from 15 years ago will have to argue increasing the scope of work for the same reasons, construcion jobs, being able to find the funding, increased business revenue from having an NHL team.

I know they are slow getting back to people, that is a problem to solve, not a condition of success.
I'll find another way to communicate with them.

dead ball foul said...

the symbols went to the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle

Not according to the final agreement (which I re-read last week as well as reposting on SC). It says the symbols went to OKC until/unless an expansion team comes to town. Only under those circumstances would the symbols ever come back home to nest.

Mr Baker said...

hey get replicasand the flat screen tv's
The Sonics championship trophy is at the MOHAI

dead ball foul said...

You've obviously interpreted the agreement differently than I did. Have you gone to see the trophy recently?

Anonymous said...

As if we didn't know already, The NYT has made it "official" in regard to Seattle rep in the world of professional sports....

Mr Baker said...

2 things: I have not gone to see the trophy, though its location is the reason I kept telling people over at Sonicscentral that if they wanted to have an opening day rally that they should not go to Key Arena, but to the museum. Don't know if they reached clarificationon being able to display the stuff. I think it could be an interesting story to write for the Weekly.

The NYT story is rambling and pointless. Just because the subject is familiar doesn't make it a well told story. It could have been written better, not going to thing too hard about how.

Mr Baker said...

so, maybe the nyt story should have gone to the museum as part of its story, the good times from the past buried? And the go into the Sewhawks, Mariners having new coaches next year and a new start, and maybe mention efforts to get the NBA back as a bright future.

Or not.

Mr Baker said...

two stories on the front page of the Seattle Times today, transportation funding and plans will not change because the funding is seperate from the general fund and spending money on something that has jobs and some thing to show for it is a "no brainer" according to one rep from Camano Island.
The other story about the Husky Stadium funding pitch as being an unknown until January. They are using 150 for a 300 million dollar construction project that they are still collecting the private money for.
Key Arena is 75 million from the state and they get a 300 million dollar construction project. Seattle Center may not be as popular within the city as a project but the result is a city asset being upgraded with the likely return of a 350 million dollar business to the state. The husky football team is going to be their regardless. Hard to cut higher ed while giving the stadium 150 million. It is a seperate fund source but it is an odd situation.

Does the desire for construction jobs paid for by a seperate tax and bucket of money from the general fund extend to the Seattle Center?
Maybe, but the transportation budget sets the model of priority and funding logic, jobs and isolated funding sources.

Anonymous said...

Well in regard to the NYT article I felt it spoke to me and how I feel about stuff going on here as far as professional(and amateur as far as the Huskies are concerned)sports. There is some promise and hope that things will turn around in the near future, but the idea of our "leaders" in the legislature actually doing something justifiable and forthright regarding the Key is daunting. And besides I didn't know that BR was in the Army until I read that story.

Mr Baker said...

I am glad you got something from the story.

dead ball foul said...

You were correct, Baker. Here's some confirmation that MOHAI does indeed have a collection:

SONICS Basketball Collection / MOHAI
Internship Begins: January 2009 (or before)
Unpaid position. At least 3 months, with a minimum of 6 hours per week. MOHAI has received a collection of artifacts and archival material from the Sonics organization. The intern(s) will be responsible for conducting an inventory of the Sonics Basketball collection. Duties would include object identification, cataloging, storage and data entry. If you are interested in this position, please contact: Kristin Halunen.