I assume that you have all read the news regarding Clay Bennett’s proposal to the state of Washington, and his letter to Gov. Gregoire. If not, go inform yourselves.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times by now, the Sonics are looking at modeling this new arena on the Pepsi Center. Hell, they even hired the guys that designed the Pepsi Center to design their new playpen. As Bennett stated in his letter to Gregoire:
“We believe the potential for such a venue extends far beyond professional basketball and has the opportunity to benefit the entire region. An excellent example was the news last week that Denver was chosen as the site for the next Democratic National Convention to be held at the Pepsi Center, which is an example of the kind of facility we are proposing here in Puget Sound.”
Of course, Bennett failed to mention that previous conventions have been held at Joe Louis Arena, Kemper Arena, Reunion Arena, and the Astrodome – because, that, of course, would be admitting that those stadia are no longer inhabited by NBA teams, having been abandoned by the spoiled men who run/ran their respective professional sports franchises.
Bennett proposes that the Sonics will provide $100 million towards the expected $530 million cost of the arena. He expects the state to provide $330 million, and Bellevue/Renton and private financiers to provide the balance of $100 million. It’s important to note that the stadium itself is expected to cost $360 million, while the land value is estimated at $170 million, which he assumes will be donated.
In other words, Bennett plans on contributing 20% of the total cost of the project, which got me to thinking – how will the revenues for the arena be divided up? That is to say, of the X millions of dollars in revenue for an arena such as this, how much will be generated by the Sonics, how much by concerts, tractor pulls, or barbershop quartet conventions?
I did a quick look at the schedule at the Pepsi Center for the next few months (unfortunately, they don’t archive past months, so we’ll have to go with Jan. to April). Not surprisingly, the lion’s share of events at the PC are divided up between the Avalanche and the Nuggets. In fact, between 58% and 85% of a given months events are either Nugget- or Avalanche-related. Of course, that’s for the months when the Nuggets and Avalanche play, I’m sure that the Pepsi Center has plenty of things on tap for the summer.