Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Proposed NBA/NHL arena draws strong debate from community
You can’t compare the Huskies to the hypothetical Sonics
There’s one slight hitch in Danny Westneat’s argument for Chris Hansen/against Husky Stadium [“Arena deal sure beats stadiums,” NWWednesday, July 11].
The Huskies aren’t going anywhere — it seems fairly certain that 30 years from now, they will still be playing football there. Can that be said for Chris Hansen’s NBA and/or NHL teams-to-be-named-later? Even the most carefully crafted long-term lease didn’t seem to keep the Sonics here.
— Jonathan Bensky, Seattle
An alternative plan
The partly-publicly-financed basketball/hockey arena probably won’t survive the Seattle political process, and that’s no surprise in a town hit by the same financial crisis affecting every other city in the U.S., with a population notoriously suspicious of both the financial bonanzas promised by sports franchises and any partnerships with rich people.
So if the modest public support sought by the promoters is really essential to make the deal fly, why not back off the cumbersome request to government and look for direct support from fans. Surely there’s a straightforward way for the Chris Hansen group to sell shares to sports fans interested in supporting the project.
It takes some lawyers to say what’s the easiest way to do that (and happily, this project is well-endowed with lawyers), but whether it’s equity, partnership shares or some form of debt, there is a way to offer fans a share in the arena. Maybe $5,000 or $10,000 per share? Put the funds in escrow until some minimum threshold is reached, and offer the investors whatever return on equity works — share in team profits, first choice in season tickets.
There’s nothing like a small piece of ownership to support sustained enthusiasm for a team — win or loose. And a group of dedicated fan/owners makes a big difference in how the whole region views a team, and that translates into better press coverage and ticket sales. There’s a history of rocky relationships with sports teams’ owners in Seattle, and when things go sour, support for a team dwindles. A diverse local partial ownership group made up of many basketball/ hockey fans would insure sustained local support of “our” team an help keep the team in Seattle.
Basketball can happen in Seattle with fans having an ownership share.
— James Byse, Port Angeles
Where are the facts
Too bad The Times’ editorial about the arena deal has no facts, no numbers and no useful information [“No public money for Sodo arena,” Opinion, July 8] The assertion that we have a vibrant commercial development thriving in Sodo shows how out of touch the The Seattle Times, the City Council and the Port of Seattle truly are. If the area was such a great income area with growing business and jobs, the land would not have been sold!
The local leaders and The Times should be happy that an individual wants to bring construction jobs, construction-material sales and new jobs to Seattle. Bringing jobs and money to an area is a fact, but I have not seen one single number related to trade loss.
The freight-mobility problems were here before the stadium proposal, due to the poor planning on the city and not following through on the overpass years ago. How is that Hansen’s problem? Would you rather have a Walmart or a Costco on the parcel that gets used all day long?
— Dean Josey, Milton