Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Proposed NBA/NHL arena debate
Profit for few, headache for many
So, Chris Hansen, you try getting anywhere north on Interstate 99 from West Seattle any time of the day, game or no game. Does anyone actually credit a study commissioned by the chief investor in this ludicrous stadium proposal [“Arena’s traffic impact: a bit slower commute,” page one, July 12]? Only five or ten more minutes ... right.
Then it will take me 50 minutes to get from West Seattle to 45th; all for the profit of a few and the time, money and expense of the many.
Seattle used to be such a terrific place to live.
— Patti Williams, Seattle
Taxpayers don’t want to satisfy billionaire’s egos
The issue isn’t Husky Stadium — it is Chris Hansen’s arena [“Arena deal sure beats Stadium’s,” NWWednesday, July 11]. In at least two pieces, Danny Westneat has justified Hansen’s project because it is a better deal than other projects. I do not understand that logic.
By Westneat’s own admission, public borrowing has to cover 40 percent of the project cost. He also states that Hansen has guaranteed that if arena revenues don’t cover the public-debt payments, he will make up the difference. Is that really true? Have you seen the contract language to that effect?
For some reason, rich men in Seattle and elsewhere like to own sports teams and build stadiums at public expense. They argue, as Hansen has, that they could get a higher rate of return investing in something else — so taxpayers must bear some of the risk.
This is nonsense. Please invest elsewhere. I do not want to pay for an arena built to satisfy the egos of billionaires.
— Beverly Marcus, Seattle
Recklessly reporting on the issue
I have been quite disappointed with the articles representing The Seattle Times as of late. By now we should all understand that the paper is anti-arena, which in itself is fine. What I have a problem with is that so much of the arguments being presented aren’t based in clear numbers or in actual facts.
It seems like most of the questions being brought up in hope of shooting down the arena proposal have already been clearly answered in as much detail as possible by Chris Hansen and his ownership group.
The opponents of the arena (especially The Seattle Times) keep bringing up old questions and worries (Initiative 91, new taxes, traffic) in the hopes of rallying supporters and have been misleading their readers at the very, very least.
Hansen has bent over backward to comply with everything that has been put in his way. If we can’t get this approved, we don’t deserve the NBA back and this will be an absolute embarrassment to the city that I love!
— Jason Rohwer, Seattle
A sports arena is not that important
The real reason not to foist an unneeded sports arena on Seattle is people versus profits. The real reason not to foist an unneeded sports arena on Seattle is that it will devour millions of precious taxpayer dollars that should go to the pressing (if not dire) needs of health care, food banks, homeless shelters, education, libraries, policing, etc.
The real reason to avoid a vote on the issue, as preferred by those in power and sports promoter Chris Hansen, is that they will lose.
It’s incomprehensible that there is public money, time and resources for a sports arena, but not enough time to fully fund the needs of the poor first! Does speculation trump compassion? Is a sports arena more important than the constant laying off teachers and school employees, and cuts to health care for the indigent and disabled?
Is there no compassion among politicians? I wouldn’t expect the promoter to opt for a vote on his scheme, but I would expect that of the City Council and the mayor, because last I heard, this was a democracy whereby one does not rule by decree.
How does one reconcile a sports arena to a permanent American landscape of food banks, food stamps, homeless shelters and endless cuts to education and health care for the poor?
— Bob Miller, Seattle