Thursday, May 7

Forecast Gloomy for KeyArena Bill

Sen. Majority Leader Lisa Brown tells that SB 6116 will not likely be taken up during the legislature's special session.

According to PI reporter Chris Grygiel, Brown explained that, "there were definitely people who felt that you couldn't go out and cut schools and do anything connected to an arena or stadium."

Of course, Brown is just one member of the legislature, so who knows what her opinion is worth (and, considering the problem the bill had was mainly with the House and not the Senate, it may not be worth all that much).

UPDATE: Nevermind, as there is no special session after all. Clay Bennett, please send thank you cards c/o Ms. Christine Gregoire, Olympia, WA.


Anonymous said...

Looks like it doesn't matter anyways ...

No Special Session; Seattle Times

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget who the culprit is after Shultz, its Mayor McCheese..not Governor Skeletor.

It was McCheese who erroneously for no apparent reason pulled the plug on the lawsuit and in doing, dumped the responsibility on the State.

Anonymous said...

2 questions for Pete, Paul, or Chunk since you all have lived, or know much better about Seattle/WA State politics than I do. (One disadvantage of not liking politics and only living here a short time.)

1st, how much would a rebuild of Key Arena cost if they rentovated it in Seattle Center? I mean, part of revenue is parking, and anybody whose ever been to Key (and we all have in one way or the other--although I've never been inside--I'm waiting until a NBA team returns before I do), what kind of extra revenue could be tied into the team? After all, it's much easier to park somewhere iwth a big parking lot and just simply walk to Key. Or, take the bus or train in from a big park & ride near where you live and take it back after the game.

The 2nd question, is if not Seattle Center, than where? Renton was shot down with quickness, and compared to Seattle Center, has even worse access.

I wonder really, among other things, how much 75 million overall would have done to the renovation of Key Arena in it's current location. I wonder how much extra the taxpayers would have to kick in to make that new arena really so spanking wonderful that any team would have wanted to move here.

JAS said...

Those are good questions. The debt on the Coliseum/Key Arena remodel of 1994-1995 was supposed to be paid off by revenues generated by the building, but for a variety of reasons (the NBA lockout, the Sonics’ on-court decline and corresponding decrease in fan interest, spiraling players’ salaries, and the fading local economy) it failed. I don’t know if it could cover the elusive $75 million now needed.
The city is in a bind, partly of its own making. Thanks to the overwhelming passing of I-91 in the fall of 2006, [learn more here:], it is severely limited in how much it can contribute to the potential renovation. At the same time, the city leaders will oppose attempts to build a new arena elsewhere, because they want to revitalize the Key Arena, the Seattle Center, and the surrounding area (during the lease trial, Bennett’s lawyers accused the mayor of hindering his Renton arena project, and for once they may have been telling the truth). Privately-funded arenas and stadiums have been done in San Francisco, Denver, Los Angeles, and Vancouver, and there is certainly enough wealth in this area to do something similar. But I don’t believe there has been much activity towards something like that. So far nobody has stepped forward to help fund the remaining $75 million. I suppose if Howard Schultz ever felt like (somewhat) redeeming himself …
What’s ironic is that Schultz’s original Key Arena renovation proposal would have cost $220 million (only $18.3 million coming from him and the other owners). Now we have $225 million ($150 million from the Ballmer group and $75 million from the city itself) committed towards renovating the place, but apparently only a $300 million renovation would do now. Could they scale it back to fit a $225 million budget while still making it adequate for the NBA and/or NHL and able to generate enough revenue for city to meet the requirements of I-91? I don’t know. Creativity has been sorely lacking throughout this whole ordeal.
That’s what I know (or at least what I think I know. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.). Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

My general feeling is that people here just don't care enough JAS, and as stupid as that sounds, I haven't heard one impassioned belief that the Sonics should have stayed. I've lived here very close to 2 years now.

I believe there are people who live the Sonics, but I'm not sure the general population gives something even remotely near a damn.

I find that sad myself. Not much you can do about that though I suspect. (I think people haven't been convinced which speaks to the lack of creativity. But, more jobs couldn't hurt Seattle either.)

The more & more I follow this stuff, the more I am confused. Everyone has botched this. And this is coming from a guy who lived in a city where the owners have said repeatedly they won't move the team because they want to stay there. This is in a city where the NBA has said they will help it get an Arena. Arena's getting done are very very difficult deals.

nuss said...

PG, I agree with you to an extent. The Sonics failed to capitalize on their playoff run of 04-05 and, with the exception of that one season, the team was not relevant for the past decade. That's a loooong time for a team not to capture a city's heart, and if that same team then tries to get a city to pony up hundreds of millions, well, that's a daunting task. Clearly, 15 years ago when the Key was first renovated there was plenty of goodwill towards the team, but when you pile 10 years of mediocre-to-poor basketball on top of whiny ownership, you get a formula that adds up to a disappearing basketball team.

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