With former Sonic Fred Brown and NBA legend Bill Russell on hand, Wong Doody played host to a, well, interesting press conference on Tuesday morning in Seattle.
The stadium proposal - tenatively termed the Emerald City Arena - offered, among other items:
-100 % privately funded ("the era of public funded arenas - at least in this region - is over")
-A possible retractable roof
-Locating the facility on the waterfront so that it would become the face of Seattle a la Sydney's Opera House, or near SoDo, or at the existing Seattle Center location, or on Mars, whichever works best
-Integrating an NHL and/or Arena Football team
-Eliminating luxury suites and introducing something called "private common areas"
-Pacific Northwest Sports Hall of Fame
-Open 365 days of year with all sorts of non-sports incomes
-An unknown group of investors
I'll try to put up some more information in time, but thought I should throw out a rough sketch initially. This whole thing sounds a little too vague and fantasy-land on first impression, as if it belonged more at a World's Fair than a real proposal. For example, there was no talk about specific investors and the plan is for an expansion team - not the Sonics - which the NBA has already stated it is not interested in doing.
According to Fred Brown, "We're not in competition with anybody." Well, except for the Ballmer group and every Sonic fan in Seattle who wants to see the initial plan succeed, he's absolutely right. And reality, because this plan is definitely in competition with reality.
If you feel like wasting 20 minutes of your life, you can visit www.emeraldcitycenter.com for more information.