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I’ve got no problems with the King County Council wanting to ask Hansen some tough questions. This is a big deal and their necks would be on the line with voters if things go south with the new arena. I don’t blame Hansen for turning down Seattle’s offer of KeyArena, though. I like the Key and don’t think it’s outlived its usefullness, but Hansen’s already bought the SoDo property he wants the new arena placed, so it makes little sense to take on an existing facility already deemed unacceptable by the NBA and losing money for the City (no wonder they want Hansen to take it off their hands).
The county doesn’t want Hansen to take it off their hands. It’s a matter of economics. Why put taxpayer money and grant tax breaks into a new sport facility when a usable one is already in place? And I don’t agree with Hansen’s assessment on traffic concerns in the area. Seattle Center is the most visited area in the state and traffic works itself out every time. Put a new arena next to Safeco Field, Century Link Field and the Convention Center and you can say there’s traffic concerns there. Using his logic a new arena should go somewhere else, possibly Bellevue or Renton. But really, if an NBA team can’t make it in Seattle Center it has bigger issues than it’s arena facility.
Hansen may have bought the SODO property but I’m sure he has a backup plan in place if things don’t work out. If push comes to shove I’m sure Vulcan will gladly buy that property from him.
Not a fan of the NBA saying the Key is not acceptable. Even Paul Allen has come out and said the NBA’s economic model is broken. Look at the mess that is Sacramento. No one politician is a bigger supporter and fan of the NBA than Kevin Johnson and KJ has thrown his hands in the air with the King’s ownership and said he’s done. The one lesson that came out of when the Sonics went to OKC is that leases are made to be broken. The NBA does what it wants. There’s two more than ready for the NBA facilities in Kansas City with the remodeled Kemper Arena and the Sprint Center and the NBA won’t even consider them. And yet they will seriously consider moving them to Anaheim. Southern California does not need another NBA team, not when there’s other viable markets out there but the NBA doesn’t have an interest in them for their own reasons.
The NHL and NASCAR have always said they’d love to comes to Seattle and want to make it happen. The NHL has gone so far as to say the Key would be fine on a temporary basis. The NBA basically has a “prove you’re worthy of our presence” attittude. It’s time to move past the NBA and on to better things. Besides, the NBA won’t be coming here until an arena is finished and not before.