BY Art Thiel 06:02PM 02/09/2012

Thiel: Top virtue, worst parts of arena proposal

Besides the private money, the proposed arena would be nearly across from Schultz’s Starbucks HQ. Besides that laugher, there’s a serious question: Which sports ticket is sixth in town?

Is there room for a fourth hump in this picture? / Wiki Commons

I write this as I sit in the ground floor coffee shop of Starbucks world headquarters on First Avenue South.  As I look east across the parking lot and street to the industrial area that would be adjacent to the proposed new PRIVATELY FUNDED ARENA (caps and face added by me as the initial name for the place), I see the project’s best feature:

The arena would be practically in the grill of Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO who sold out the Sonics.  Thus, the all-time, punk-ass facial ever delivered in the NBA.

Delightfully ironic as it is, that is also part of the problem.

Giddy as sports fans and talk shows hosts have been over this proposed project, which has been sufficiently viable to have an investor put down $22 million to buy some land and Mayor Mike McGinn to pay a consultant to vet it, there will be at least three neighborhood entities besides Schultz and his many innocent workers who won’t like it.

*Seahawks/Sounders

*Mariners

*Port of Seattle

None of them will say so, of course, ever conscious of the consequences of adding poop to the sudden party that is getting McGinn more attention than any of his screw-ups. But anyone who has much used First Avenue South is having a hard time imagining anything but hell attending the comings and goings of 22,000 fans to the truck (dead) stop that it often becomes in the late afternoon rush.

Besides the epic, five-sport congestion at the location — which will get worse in a few years as thousands of commuters use surface streets in an attempt to avoid tolls on the tunnel that replaces the viaduct — even I, as a sports guy, am having a couple of problems with it, one near term and one long term.

At the moment, Seattle is being played for a stooge in the Machiavellian manipulations of NBA Commissioner David Stern. Devious Dave suddenly likes Seattle, for the same reason that the NFL likes Los Angeles — it’s an empty, potentially lucrative market that can be used as leverage against cities fighting the extortions of the pro sports leagues.

Stern gave an interview to the Salt Lake Tribune Monday that the Seattle Times foolishly bannered Tuesday in which he admits talking to Chris Hansen, the hedge fund guy originally from Seattle who appears to be the leader of the group trying to build an arena without tax money. Stern’s unstated point was to let politicians in Sacramento, New Orleans, Charlotte and elsewhere know that there is a bigger market getting itself ready to take your team if you don’t fall in line.

Stern committed to nothing but was at his his cloyingly, passive-aggressive best in threatening without threatening. Just as did the plain girl told by the stud jock she was the prettiest girl at the prom, Seattle lapped up the insincerity as Stern played it for personal laughs.

It is hardly the first time, and won’t be last time, Seattle will prove gullible in the saga. The more troubling question about the proposal is this:

Which among the big-time teams — Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders, Washington football, an NBA team and NHL team — is going to be the sixth ticket in town?

In a seriously bruised economy that is stubbornly staying bruised, one of these enterprises would be the least sports desirable entertainment choice, which is no place to be.

Remember, the Sonics were already on a revenue fade before Schultz bailed in July 2006, which was before the economic collapse of September 2008 and the 2009 arrival of the Sounders and astounding MLS expansion success that makes them a co-equal in this market, unlike any other sports market in the U.S.

Aside from location, the other vulnerability in this proposal is that the private funding of the arena virtually mandates that it secure NBA and NHL teams for the 80-plus dates the anchor tenants would provide.

If we can guess comfortably that the arena itself would cost more than $500 million, plus another $100 million in infrastructure additions and changes, the arena would probably need a minimum of 250 rental dates to cover construction costs — unless Hansen is planning to donate the $500 million to his hometown. I don’t know, maybe successful hedge fund managers need the tax writeoff.

If construction costs aren’t a donation, Hansen and pals will need not only 80-plus winter dates, but an owner for each team who has to risk being the sixth ticket in town. We all know that Steve Ballmer is favorite to be the NBA owner, and while we all know he can afford it, rich guys hate looking stupid. Probably the same will be said for the NHL owner.

So somebody is going to be taking a rotund risk in the the next few years that Seattle is going to be a more robust sports market than it has ever been. Just ask the teams that have tried to sell a stadium suite in this town over the last few years. Sales are possible, but in the class warfare that is becoming a big part of the American culture, any public-facing company that owns a suite these days is going to be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as out of touch with what is going on.

Speaking of the public, we know little about the people, plans and plausibility for this project, so we are way out over our skis in debating at this stage which teams Seattle can poach.  Nevertheless, mayor and members of the council who have been in the know seem on board. That’s good, because their political careers will be in immediate jeopardy if the city’s financial contribution is anything more than one chubby old cop holding the stop/slow sign on First Avenue South during construction.

A huge private investment in Seattle and sports would be welcome. The benefits would be many, not the least of which is knowing Schultz’s morning cup in the office will be forever bitter.

But the risks for the principals are large. Hedge fund managers are used to that tightrope walk, so the presumption is Hansen knows the way. But he’s never been involved in pro sports, where up is down, right is left and night is day.

And he has to know that one in his new circle will end up with the sixth ticket. Better hope it’s the richest guy, and he has a sense of humor.


YourThoughts

  • Tbrakke

    Will it work? I don’t know, but even asking who will be the sixth ticket in town sounds good to me.

    • Artthiel

      As long as you’re not the owner of the sixth-ticket, sure. But when he sells to Oklahoma City, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

      • Brettb3

        Doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.

  • Tbrakke

    Will it work? I don’t know, but even asking who will be the sixth ticket in town sounds good to me.

    • Artthiel

      As long as you’re not the owner of the sixth-ticket, sure. But when he sells to Oklahoma City, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

      • Brettb3

        Doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.

  • Wasting083

    It’s going to happen Art, your pessimism is warranted, that being said no one including yourself has no idea what is going on behind the scene.

    • Artthiel

      Not saying it won’t happen, but it’s a whole lot more complicated on so many levels than simply putting together a rich guy with a desperate politician.

  • Wasting083

    It’s going to happen Art, your pessimism is warranted, that being said no one including yourself has no idea what is going on behind the scene.

    • Artthiel

      Not saying it won’t happen, but it’s a whole lot more complicated on so many levels than simply putting together a rich guy with a desperate politician.

  • Soggyblogger

    I still don’t understand what is wrong with Key Arena. Since any NBA team here is lucky to get more than 10 thousand people to attend a game, Key Arena is fine. It was renovated and then declared unfit within less than a decade. I am no expert on this issue, but it all stinks to me. I’d take an expansion team in Key Arena and be happy to have a team I could watch on TV and root for. As with all professional sports and that includes college sports, the money is in the TV contracts. Live sports suck. A bunch of screaming idiots watching a game that looks like you are viewing it from the wrong end of the binoculars. TV is much better. No parking hassles, hot dogs straight out of the microwave, and a comfy chair to sit in. Consume your favorite mind altering substance, and voila! Instant happiness. 

    • Artthiel

      see reply to Jafabian

  • Soggyblogger

    I still don’t understand what is wrong with Key Arena. Since any NBA team here is lucky to get more than 10 thousand people to attend a game, Key Arena is fine. It was renovated and then declared unfit within less than a decade. I am no expert on this issue, but it all stinks to me. I’d take an expansion team in Key Arena and be happy to have a team I could watch on TV and root for. As with all professional sports and that includes college sports, the money is in the TV contracts. Live sports suck. A bunch of screaming idiots watching a game that looks like you are viewing it from the wrong end of the binoculars. TV is much better. No parking hassles, hot dogs straight out of the microwave, and a comfy chair to sit in. Consume your favorite mind altering substance, and voila! Instant happiness. 

    • Artthiel

      see reply to Jafabian

  • jafabian

    If this does happen no matter what taxpayers will get hit with something in the form of taxes or fees, whether it’s overrun costs on building a new arena, renovating the streets and building yet more on ramps for the increased traffic in the SODO district,  renovating or demolishing Key Arena, bailing out the Seattle Center (a new arena in SODO will be its death sentence) or basically financing the building of the new arena because after all, the NBA is losing money.  They cried that over and over again at how many teams are in the red during the lockout.  So why exactly does the city want to support a business that continuously operate that way?  That would stand to reason that every year they will be asking for some sort of financial aid and that says yet another tax to me.  Is there ever a time when the pro-sport teams around here don’t ask for that from the city?

    The ONLY reason the NBA wants a new arena is so the owner(s) will get 100% profit which is impossible in the city owned Key Arena.  And I have issues with helping billionaire owners and millionaire players make more money.  Especially when they can can leave town at the drop of a hat or trade away players to have a losing season and lower attendance figures and then claim the city doesn’t support them.  If I recall correctly, the Sonics broadcasts pretty much stuck to Western Washington.  They’d make more money if they marketed themselves better.  They could easily stretch out to all of the Pacific NW, British Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii and maybe even Japan and parts of Oregon.  This is the digital age.  You make more money that way than in an arena that seats 20,000.

    Like it or not, losing sport teams can affect tourism and therefore impact the local economy negatively.  I’ve yet to hear any of the sport teams acknowledge that.  People remember teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox and Cowboys because they win and will visit those cities in part because of them.  When the Sonics, Mariners and Seahawks lose collectively it impacts the tourism industry for the area to a degree.  I laugh when the NBA claims they will create jobs for the local economy.  What studies to they have that shows this supposed huge impact?  Maybe a few jobs but not the big number they intimate.  And if it’s so beneficial that sure makes their pulling out for OKC that much more cold.

    Sure, the NBA wants a state of the art arena for its franchises but what works in LA doesn’t mean it will work in Seattle.  Seattle is the city where people can’t imaging spending $2000 on a suit but would easily spend that same amount on a kayak.  The NBA only sees what it wants and doesn’t look at what works for Seattle.  What would be best, especially if the NHL is a part of this, is to renovate the Key AGAIN.  It would split traffic rather than bottling it all up in one area.  And the DOT wouldn’t have to renovate the roads for the increased traffic.  If traffic is always a problem that would impact attendance would it not?  I’m not gonna go watch a losing team AND sit in traffic.

    Key Arena is fine for the NBA as an arena and it’s fine for Seattle.  Renovation needs to be done for an NHL team but it can be done.  Seattle should be calling the shots on this and not pro sports because they need us more than we need them.

    • Artthiel

      I understand the sentiment, but the fact is that the Key can’t be expanded beyond the four giant concrete beams that remain from the Coliseum in 1962. Otherwise, it’s a complete demo. Then you’re talking about a 22,000-seat nightlife center in the middle of a public park. That won’t happen. The Key was the only arena in the NBA in a public park, which means that changes are subject to review as a part of the Center’s Master Plan that has about a thousand constituencies to please. A full-blown, Seattle-process, bureaucratic trip to hell on a runaway locomotive.

  • jafabian

    If this does happen no matter what taxpayers will get hit with something in the form of taxes or fees, whether it’s overrun costs on building a new arena, renovating the streets and building yet more on ramps for the increased traffic in the SODO district,  renovating or demolishing Key Arena, bailing out the Seattle Center (a new arena in SODO will be its death sentence) or basically financing the building of the new arena because after all, the NBA is losing money.  They cried that over and over again at how many teams are in the red during the lockout.  So why exactly does the city want to support a business that continuously operate that way?  That would stand to reason that every year they will be asking for some sort of financial aid and that says yet another tax to me.  Is there ever a time when the pro-sport teams around here don’t ask for that from the city?

    The ONLY reason the NBA wants a new arena is so the owner(s) will get 100% profit which is impossible in the city owned Key Arena.  And I have issues with helping billionaire owners and millionaire players make more money.  Especially when they can can leave town at the drop of a hat or trade away players to have a losing season and lower attendance figures and then claim the city doesn’t support them.  If I recall correctly, the Sonics broadcasts pretty much stuck to Western Washington.  They’d make more money if they marketed themselves better.  They could easily stretch out to all of the Pacific NW, British Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii and maybe even Japan and parts of Oregon.  This is the digital age.  You make more money that way than in an arena that seats 20,000.

    Like it or not, losing sport teams can affect tourism and therefore impact the local economy negatively.  I’ve yet to hear any of the sport teams acknowledge that.  People remember teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox and Cowboys because they win and will visit those cities in part because of them.  When the Sonics, Mariners and Seahawks lose collectively it impacts the tourism industry for the area to a degree.  I laugh when the NBA claims they will create jobs for the local economy.  What studies to they have that shows this supposed huge impact?  Maybe a few jobs but not the big number they intimate.  And if it’s so beneficial that sure makes their pulling out for OKC that much more cold.

    Sure, the NBA wants a state of the art arena for its franchises but what works in LA doesn’t mean it will work in Seattle.  Seattle is the city where people can’t imaging spending $2000 on a suit but would easily spend that same amount on a kayak.  The NBA only sees what it wants and doesn’t look at what works for Seattle.  What would be best, especially if the NHL is a part of this, is to renovate the Key AGAIN.  It would split traffic rather than bottling it all up in one area.  And the DOT wouldn’t have to renovate the roads for the increased traffic.  If traffic is always a problem that would impact attendance would it not?  I’m not gonna go watch a losing team AND sit in traffic.

    Key Arena is fine for the NBA as an arena and it’s fine for Seattle.  Renovation needs to be done for an NHL team but it can be done.  Seattle should be calling the shots on this and not pro sports because they need us more than we need them.

    • Artthiel

      I understand the sentiment, but the fact is that the Key can’t be expanded beyond the four giant concrete beams that remain from the Coliseum in 1962. Otherwise, it’s a complete demo. Then you’re talking about a 22,000-seat nightlife center in the middle of a public park. That won’t happen. The Key was the only arena in the NBA in a public park, which means that changes are subject to review as a part of the Center’s Master Plan that has about a thousand constituencies to please. A full-blown, Seattle-process, bureaucratic trip to hell on a runaway locomotive.

  • HunterGatherer

    Well said, well thought out and of course, the only autonomous voice in our fair burgh. Interesting to note how all the sell-out politicians are now revising their opinions now that we are in a poor economy and job creation and economic impetus is needed  – and it’s an election year…

    • Artthiel

      The economic landscape is so bleak that anyone packing a daisy looks like a weapons-grade florist

  • HunterGatherer

    Well said, well thought out and of course, the only autonomous voice in our fair burgh. Interesting to note how all the sell-out politicians are now revising their opinions now that we are in a poor economy and job creation and economic impetus is needed  – and it’s an election year…

    • Artthiel

      The economic landscape is so bleak that anyone packing a daisy looks like a weapons-grade florist

  • HunterGatherer

    “The arena would be practically in the grill of Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO who sold out the Sonics.  Thus, the all-time, punk-ass facial ever delivered in the NBA.”

    Karma’s a bitch.

    • Artthiel

      Better, even, than hanging at Tully’s.

  • HunterGatherer

    “The arena would be practically in the grill of Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO who sold out the Sonics.  Thus, the all-time, punk-ass facial ever delivered in the NBA.”

    Karma’s a bitch.

    • Artthiel

      Better, even, than hanging at Tully’s.

  • Grover

    There is no financing plan for the proposed new arena.

    The only detail that has been made public is that the construction bonds would be sold by the city, meaning that the city’s general fund would be on the hook for the bond payments.  This is exactly how KeyArena was financed, and it worked for only a few years, after which the city had to take millions of dollars out of its general funds to pay off the construction bonds, until Bennett paid off the remaining debt to get out of the lease.

    Where is the money to pay for the arena going to come from?  Hansen has absolutely NOT said he is going to pay for it out of his personal fortune.  So, where is the money to pay for the arena going to come from? 

    No money, no “plan.”

    Details, details.

    • Artthiel

      Grover, if true about the the city covering with its bonding capacity, then you are right. The pay-as-you-go works as long as the entity keeps going, which in 1999 the NBA did not because of a lockout. So many people forget that the lockout was the beginning of the end for the Sonics, because post-lockout came the burst of the dot-com bubble, and KeyArena suite sales plummeted. That was the source of the debt retirement, and it failed, leaving Nickels in a panic in 2008 when it came to deciding between the Sonics and Bennett’s offer of a debt buyout. 

      • Grover

        According to the report on KeyArena, sales of suites at KeyArena fell when Safeco Field opened, and a lot of people /corporations who had owned suites at KeyArena gave them up to buy suites in the brand-new baseball stadium.  This study found that there is probably not enough corporate money in Seattle to support 3 pro sports teams.

        That was before the Huskies started building a new stadium, with commitments from a lot of people/corporations to buy suites at that new stadium.

        And, that was before the Sounders became a big draw, and sold a lot of suites for their games. 

        And that was without an NHL hockey team, which would also need to sell a lot of suites.

        So, who is going to buy all these suites and club seats for the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, Husky football, NBA and NHL?  Then there is the little matter of selling seaons tickets to all those teams.  The M’s aren’t doing exactly great at that right now, without the NBA or NHL to compete with, are they?

        What has the mayor been negotiating behind closed doors if the city is not being asked to sell the construction bonds?  If this were just another privately-funded building, like a hotel, or downtown skyscraper, the mayor wouldn’t even be involved.

        • Brett

          From what I heard, the Hansen group is willing to pay for the building themselves. Where the city would get involved is in infrastructure costs around the arena and approving an MOU (memorandum of understanding).

  • Grover

    There is no financing plan for the proposed new arena.

    The only detail that has been made public is that the construction bonds would be sold by the city, meaning that the city’s general fund would be on the hook for the bond payments.  This is exactly how KeyArena was financed, and it worked for only a few years, after which the city had to take millions of dollars out of its general funds to pay off the construction bonds, until Bennett paid off the remaining debt to get out of the lease.

    Where is the money to pay for the arena going to come from?  Hansen has absolutely NOT said he is going to pay for it out of his personal fortune.  So, where is the money to pay for the arena going to come from? 

    No money, no “plan.”

    Details, details.

    • Artthiel

      Grover, if true about the the city covering with its bonding capacity, then you are right. The pay-as-you-go works as long as the entity keeps going, which in 1999 the NBA did not because of a lockout. So many people forget that the lockout was the beginning of the end for the Sonics, because post-lockout came the burst of the dot-com bubble, and KeyArena suite sales plummeted. That was the source of the debt retirement, and it failed, leaving Nickels in a panic in 2008 when it came to deciding between the Sonics and Bennett’s offer of a debt buyout. 

      • Grover

        According to the report on KeyArena, sales of suites at KeyArena fell when Safeco Field opened, and a lot of people /corporations who had owned suites at KeyArena gave them up to buy suites in the brand-new baseball stadium.  This study found that there is probably not enough corporate money in Seattle to support 3 pro sports teams.

        That was before the Huskies started building a new stadium, with commitments from a lot of people/corporations to buy suites at that new stadium.

        And, that was before the Sounders became a big draw, and sold a lot of suites for their games. 

        And that was without an NHL hockey team, which would also need to sell a lot of suites.

        So, who is going to buy all these suites and club seats for the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, Husky football, NBA and NHL?  Then there is the little matter of selling seaons tickets to all those teams.  The M’s aren’t doing exactly great at that right now, without the NBA or NHL to compete with, are they?

        What has the mayor been negotiating behind closed doors if the city is not being asked to sell the construction bonds?  If this were just another privately-funded building, like a hotel, or downtown skyscraper, the mayor wouldn’t even be involved.

        • Brett

          From what I heard, the Hansen group is willing to pay for the building themselves. Where the city would get involved is in infrastructure costs around the arena and approving an MOU (memorandum of understanding).

  • Macfunk

    Years ago a Seattle P-I columnist assured his readers that, despite what citizens were being told in the run up to the football stadium vote, the facility would, “frankly,” never be home to a MLS soccer franchise.  Soccer is here and it seems to be doing rather well.  But the Sports Press Northwest columnist is quite right about one thing all this time later – David Stern is gaming us.  The SLC Tribune interview was a hoot!     

    • Artthiel

      Macfunk, I believe said columnist pointed out that at the time of the vote, the MLS had barely begun. Fulfillment of “promise” of a pro soccer team turned out to be 12 years out.  But it did happen. And besides, columnists never use the word never. Cheers! 

  • Macfunk

    Years ago a Seattle P-I columnist assured his readers that, despite what citizens were being told in the run up to the football stadium vote, the facility would, “frankly,” never be home to a MLS soccer franchise.  Soccer is here and it seems to be doing rather well.  But the Sports Press Northwest columnist is quite right about one thing all this time later – David Stern is gaming us.  The SLC Tribune interview was a hoot!     

    • Artthiel

      Macfunk, I believe said columnist pointed out that at the time of the vote, the MLS had barely begun. Fulfillment of “promise” of a pro soccer team turned out to be 12 years out.  But it did happen. And besides, columnists never use the word never. Cheers! 

  • Kitsapling

    Once again, Thiel shows why he is the only reliable (and readable) sports journalist in Seattle. Great article. The appeal of being Seattle’s basketball savior must weigh mightily on local boy Hansen. Short of playing the game at the NBA level in your home town must be the euphoria of owning the team, not to mention bringing it back from the dead. What redemption for an otherwise unknown hedge fund manager who toils in a career that many Seattle residents find loathsome. Hansen, after all, is a “one percent-er.” Can the local boy make good by resurrecting the Sonics? Only, it seems, if McGinn is willing to make far more significant public outlays than he has so far admitted to. In this, it would appear, Hansen and McGinn need each other: one to rescue a failing political career and the other to make real any young man’s biggest dream: to be the hero in his hometown. It is a powerful and vulnerable combination artfully exploited by Dr. Evil, David Stern. There is a sinking feeling, however, that even if we win back the Sonics in a game where the deck is stacked against us, we taxpayers will come up on the short end of deal.

    • Artthiel

      A fair fear, Kitsapling. Politicians are always looking for monuments to their legacy, and the nouveau riche are always looking for validation when their labors don’t create anything but wealth via market manipulation. Thanks for the good words. 

  • Kitsapling

    Once again, Thiel shows why he is the only reliable (and readable) sports journalist in Seattle. Great article. The appeal of being Seattle’s basketball savior must weigh mightily on local boy Hansen. Short of playing the game at the NBA level in your home town must be the euphoria of owning the team, not to mention bringing it back from the dead. What redemption for an otherwise unknown hedge fund manager who toils in a career that many Seattle residents find loathsome. Hansen, after all, is a “one percent-er.” Can the local boy make good by resurrecting the Sonics? Only, it seems, if McGinn is willing to make far more significant public outlays than he has so far admitted to. In this, it would appear, Hansen and McGinn need each other: one to rescue a failing political career and the other to make real any young man’s biggest dream: to be the hero in his hometown. It is a powerful and vulnerable combination artfully exploited by Dr. Evil, David Stern. There is a sinking feeling, however, that even if we win back the Sonics in a game where the deck is stacked against us, we taxpayers will come up on the short end of deal.

    • Artthiel

      A fair fear, Kitsapling. Politicians are always looking for monuments to their legacy, and the nouveau riche are always looking for validation when their labors don’t create anything but wealth via market manipulation. Thanks for the good words. 

  • HunterGatherer

    Actually Mac (Mr. Funk?) – the charter for what became Seahawks/Qwest/Clink Field states that the facility is built as a “soccer/football” stadium and that it is to have a natural GRASS surface. This was written this way specifically – but as you can see, certain aspects were ahem, ignored.

    Soccer is and was a huge part of making that thing work.

  • HunterGatherer

    Actually Mac (Mr. Funk?) – the charter for what became Seahawks/Qwest/Clink Field states that the facility is built as a “soccer/football” stadium and that it is to have a natural GRASS surface. This was written this way specifically – but as you can see, certain aspects were ahem, ignored.

    Soccer is and was a huge part of making that thing work.

  • http://twitter.com/Teddroe Paul Bruene

    I’m with Tbrakke. Asking the question of which will be the sixth ticket is like asking yourself which tuxedo you’re wearing to the gala. If you ever have to ask yourself that, you know you’re doing pretty darn good.

    • Artthiel

      The sixth-ticket question is not for the fan, it’s for the owner. Of course fans want more. The owner of said team doesn’t want to be the schlub who proves wrong the Greater Fool Theory.

  • http://twitter.com/Teddroe Paul Bruene

    I’m with Tbrakke. Asking the question of which will be the sixth ticket is like asking yourself which tuxedo you’re wearing to the gala. If you ever have to ask yourself that, you know you’re doing pretty darn good.

    • Artthiel

      The sixth-ticket question is not for the fan, it’s for the owner. Of course fans want more. The owner of said team doesn’t want to be the schlub who proves wrong the Greater Fool Theory.

  • Dr Hfuhruhurr

    It’s still beyond me how anyone in Seattle would want to pay admission to anything that David Stern benefits off of. Does anyone here really want to see that smarmy, pompous mug grinning ear to ear over how he finally got a new arena built in this city? Not to mention its a rigged enterprise, no less orchestrated than Pro Rasslin’, officiated by gambling cheaters, and a STILL broken business model that was not fixed at all by the latest labor agreement. It just boggles my mind how anyone would want to support this crap-pile of a product.

    • Artthiel

      Dr., my man. Get to your point. How do you really feel?

      • Dr Hfuhruhurr

         You’re welcome. And you’re the man, man.

        • NickBob

          If only to give him an A-Rod greeting, turned up to 11. 

          You’re both The Man. 

    • Jjwillis234

      To you it’s a crap Pile product, but to me and many others
      Basketball is part of my life and we want it back, so that’s fine you don’t support it but don’t try and be the grinch

    • Xrxs1020

      Far be it from me to speak up to a doctor, but your’e missing the point.     The NBA is full of genius athletes whose kinesthetic IQs are off the charts.    These gazelles are fun to watch.   File it under entertainment.    

        

  • Dr Hfuhruhurr

    It’s still beyond me how anyone in Seattle would want to pay admission to anything that David Stern benefits off of. Does anyone here really want to see that smarmy, pompous mug grinning ear to ear over how he finally got a new arena built in this city? Not to mention its a rigged enterprise, no less orchestrated than Pro Rasslin’, officiated by gambling cheaters, and a STILL broken business model that was not fixed at all by the latest labor agreement. It just boggles my mind how anyone would want to support this crap-pile of a product.

    • Artthiel

      Dr., my man. Get to your point. How do you really feel?

      • Dr Hfuhruhurr

         You’re welcome. And you’re the man, man.

        • NickBob

          If only to give him an A-Rod greeting, turned up to 11. 

          You’re both The Man. 

    • Jjwillis234

      To you it’s a crap Pile product, but to me and many others
      Basketball is part of my life and we want it back, so that’s fine you don’t support it but don’t try and be the grinch

    • Xrxs1020

      Far be it from me to speak up to a doctor, but your’e missing the point.     The NBA is full of genius athletes whose kinesthetic IQs are off the charts.    These gazelles are fun to watch.   File it under entertainment.    

        

  • Rick

    Two words Mr Thiel ,, Television Money. The NBA, NHL and MLB on the same ticket in the 12 biggest market? Somebody has to be thinking about this.

  • Rick

    Two words Mr Thiel ,, Television Money. The NBA, NHL and MLB on the same ticket in the 12 biggest market? Somebody has to be thinking about this.

  • Artthiel

    Two words, Rick: Housing bubble. Everyone thought housing prices would go up forever, just as they now think TV rights fees for sports will go on forever. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. 

  • Artthiel

    Two words, Rick: Housing bubble. Everyone thought housing prices would go up forever, just as they now think TV rights fees for sports will go on forever. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. 

  • jafabian

    I think right now is too early for the NBA to return.   The Charlotte community has never totally embraced the Bobcats because of the bad taste the departure of the Hornets left them.  I see the same thing happening here in Seattle.  Of course, that will translate into mediocre attendance and sooner or later the arena will get the blame.  OR the team ownership will need more money.  Needless to say no matter how much of a sell job either the city or the NBA does taxpayers will be shelling out money.

    • Brett

      Attendance will have no affect on how the arena is paid for.

      • Artthiel

        It will if revs are a main part of construction-debt retirement.

    • Artthiel

      There’s a lot of resentment in town for the NBA, no doubt. More than there is affection for its return? I don’t know, and you don’t know. Would be a great question for a scientific poll — as long as more than Seattle gets included

  • jafabian

    I think right now is too early for the NBA to return.   The Charlotte community has never totally embraced the Bobcats because of the bad taste the departure of the Hornets left them.  I see the same thing happening here in Seattle.  Of course, that will translate into mediocre attendance and sooner or later the arena will get the blame.  OR the team ownership will need more money.  Needless to say no matter how much of a sell job either the city or the NBA does taxpayers will be shelling out money.

    • Brett

      Attendance will have no affect on how the arena is paid for.

      • Artthiel

        It will if revs are a main part of construction-debt retirement.

    • Artthiel

      There’s a lot of resentment in town for the NBA, no doubt. More than there is affection for its return? I don’t know, and you don’t know. Would be a great question for a scientific poll — as long as more than Seattle gets included

  • ddaichiro

    Maybe one of the reasons the Mariners haven’t been in the post season since 2001 and can’t (won’t) sign big players like Prince Fielder is because this region need more choices for sports fans so the “sixth” ticket in town deserves the one who doesn’t want to be a competitive, exciting product. Yeah, I guess cities like Denver and Dallas can support all the major sports but here in Seattle we only got one daily newspaper :( 

  • ddaichiro

    Maybe one of the reasons the Mariners haven’t been in the post season since 2001 and can’t (won’t) sign big players like Prince Fielder is because this region need more choices for sports fans so the “sixth” ticket in town deserves the one who doesn’t want to be a competitive, exciting product. Yeah, I guess cities like Denver and Dallas can support all the major sports but here in Seattle we only got one daily newspaper :( 

  • Xrxs1020

    Doubtless a stupid question, but why assume there will be a lowly sixth place sad-sack loser?    

    Why couldn’t there be six teams all doing relatively well, or at least good enough?    

  • Xrxs1020

    Doubtless a stupid question, but why assume there will be a lowly sixth place sad-sack loser?    

    Why couldn’t there be six teams all doing relatively well, or at least good enough?