Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Proposed Sodo arena hopes to bring NBA back to Seattle
Impartial coverage, please
I have been a loyal reader of The Seattle Times for years. Back in the days when I had a choice of which paper to purchase, Times versus Post Intelligencer, I would always select The Seattle Times. I did this because I believe the quality of reporting, variety of stories and depth of coverage was of the highest quality and professional standards.
The current incarnation of The Times, in my opinion, doesn’t stack up to the high standards that I’ve become accustomed to. Particularly, the coverage of the new arena proposal [“Is there a future for KeyArena?” page one, July 22].
The coverage on this topic has been obviously slanted and not in favor of the proposal. While I don’t need all the writers at The Times to agree with my opinion that this arena deal is a good deal for the city, I do expect my local newspaper to report an impartial view of the proposal. The coverage of this topic has been as unbiased as Fox News’ “Fair and Balanced” coverage.
I expect more from The Times, especially at a time when it is the only choice for a major newspaper in the city.
— Neil O’Brien, Seattle
A contradictory proposal
In 2006, Seattle overwhelmingly passed Initiative 91 with 74 percent of the vote. I-91 was written to prevent tax subsidies from the city of Seattle to professional sports organizations. In the voter’s pamphlet statement in support of I-91, this was stated six different times, including these quotes: “Yes on I-91 stops tax subsidies for pro-sports teams.” And, “Yes on I-91 says voters are fed up with tax subsidies for pro sports stadiums.” Recent Seattle polls still show the same level of opposition to pro-sports subsidies.
Now Chris Hansen has put a proposal to the Seattle City Council in which city tax revenues would be used to help pay for a new NBA arena, from which Hansen’s group would receive every dollar of revenues. This would be an obvious tax subsidy of a professional sports organization by the city of Seattle. Chris Hansen himself, referring to his arena proposal, admitted in an Art Thiel interview, “Make no mistake about it, we are getting our taxes forgiven.”
A tax-subsidized NBA arena is exactly what a large majority of Seattle voters said they do not want in our city. It is up to the Seattle City Council to reject the current arena proposal, which so clearly contradicts the will of the voters in Seattle.
— Chris Van Dyk, Bainbridge Island
The NBA game is changing
I am uneasy with the demand forecasts that the arena proponents are presenting. The NBA game is changing and the question must be asked whether it can sustain a fan base over a 30-year period. During the regular season, many fans feel that the game is boring and that players simply “go through the motions.” The style of play may depress demand over the long term.
When taxpayer moneys are on the line, the conservative approach is to assume that revenue streams will not be sufficient to pay down the debt. Either the proponents must prove their case without question or Seattle must negotiate more favorable terms of the memorandum of understanding (MOU).
The proponents argue that we have been given a gift horse, but the city of Troy also received a gift horse, and we know how that turned out.
— Fred Alkire, Seattle