BY SPNW Staff 06:30AM 02/18/2013

Hansen’s SoDo arena plan: The yays and nays

Jason Reid of “Sonicsgate,” Port of Seattle Commissioner Tom Albro and SPNW’s Art Thiel discuss the proposed SoDo arena on Seattle Channel’s “City Inside/Out” program

Arena panelists. /

While the NBA’s All-Star Game Weekend in Houston ended with no definitive word about whether the Kings franchise will stay in Sacramento or move to KeyArena, matters in Seattle begin to heat up Friday with the start of the first of two lawsuits against the SoDo arena project proposed by Chris Hansen.

A lawsuit brought by the longshore union against the site will have its first hearing Friday in King County Superior Court. The suit contends the city and county reached agreement on the site before completion of an environmental impact study that would consider impacts on freight mobility as well as alternate locations for the arena.

Meanwhile, Seattle Channel’s weekly public affairs program, “City Inside/Out” convened a panel Friday to discuss the project and its consequences. Panelists included Jason Reid of “Sonicsgate” docimentary movie fame, Port of Seattle Commissioner Tom Albro and Sportspress NW columnist Art Thiel.


  • Guest

    lousy performance, Art. You did your best to help out Albro as much as possible. He doesn’t need your help. Maybe he should worry more about utilizing his tax subsidy a little more effectively.

    • art thiel

      Not a performer. I’m a journalist. I’d like to see the NBA return, but I’d like everything resolved before construction, not during or after, as has been the case around here. Readers, voters and citizens need to hear impartial views as well as partisan views. Unless you’re none of the above, in which case, you’re wasting a lot of time watching and responding.

      • Billy Bob

        Ok, then why do you feel it is your “journalistic” responsibility to raise every possible red flag, but ignore the merits of putting an arena in an area zoned for stadiums, where infrastructure is already in place, along with multiple transportation options. Why didn’t you ask Tom Albro, who apparently is an expert on Bellevue arena locations, if he is going to pay for the added infrastructure that would be needed for the Bellevue location he apparently is a huge advocate for? Can you ask Tom Albro why he is so concerned about a stadium that will host events starting at 7:30, when his port closes at 4:30? It certainly seems fair you could aim at least some of your skepticism towards the Port and their intentions, could you not? Being the “fair and balanced” reporter that you are.

  • I think a lot of folks viewing this seem to think Art’s supposed to be a cheerleader instead of a reporter.

    • Billy Bob

      Except he reported every possible reason why it won’t work. If he’s a reporter, shouldnt he give both sides of the story?

      • art thiel

        I addressed the controversial parts of the story, none of which are resolved at the moment. Like Geoff says, I’m not a cheerleader. Anyone can do that. Like you.

    • art thiel

      Thanks, Geoff. I’m calling you the silent majority.

    • Michael Kaiser

      He is a cheerleader, but he is trying to do it slyly. At one point he responded to a comment that I made by saying he was not a hoops fan but just was enthralled by the theatre of this whole affair. Watch his interview with Slick Watts and how he talks about “taking the pill to the hole” and tell me he is not a major hoopster. And he also has some real problems with the Port and/or Tom Albro. Look at his body language in this interview. And I will tell you, in the big picture it is Albro that made sense in this little roundtable. A lot of sense. Bellevue is a much better site, and there are much more important things in the Port area than the Sonics.

      Wee-Willy (Class Act Guys)

      • art thiel

        Kinda figured you for wiser, Michael. Would I like to see the NBA back? Sure. Of course. Would I like to see the deal that brings back the NBA set to work well for the city, the pols and the owners BEFORE ground is broken, instead of after? Even more. Saves us all money and grief to put in the hard work ahead of the project. Siting it is a key, and it is controversial. So let’s hash it now.

        And I never said “pill”. So 80s,Michael.

      • Billy bob

        Actually, Tom Albro made no sense at all. Tom Albro is a clown and a cake eater. Tom Albro should be worried more about using his giant tax subsidy more effectively.

  • jafabian

    I only half agree with Reid when he says the Seattle situation with Sacramento is different than when Bennett took the Sonics. Though Bennett’s execution is different than Hansen the goal remains the same. Not unlike when the Kings were moved from KC to Sacremento in the first place.

    At this point, I believe the arena will happen and when it’s completed it will initially be the best in the NBA, much like how Safeco Field and Century Link Field were when they opened. The trick is for it to remain there and not be outdated in ten years like what happened with Key Arena.