I believe Sonics will leave for Bellevue or maybe Renton. Either way, those cities will pluck what was a Seattle 1970s sports jewel from its Key Arena setting. The prongs are coming loose from the setting, thanks to a Seattle City Council that is asking for nearly that same things the Sonics rejected last year. The city wants rent from $1.9- $3 million a year, the Sonics to pay a larger and undefined amount of the project cost and assume the risk for major maintenance items for the arena.
Read it for yourself the crux, in part:
(Link to actual crux)
A. Capital financing terms
1. Any proposal for public funding of a Key Arena renovation must be submitted to the voters of King County for their approval.
2. Any new tax revenues approved by voters should be dedicated to paying off the existing debt associated with the 1994 remodel and helping to fund a remodel of Key Arena.
3. Public funding for the remodel comes exclusively from "visitor" taxes or "user" taxes/fees (excluding parking and admissions taxes as stated in section B.3 of this resolution) and not from local general public tax revenues or the City of Seattle's General Fund.
4. The "visitor" or "user" taxes/fees must be collected from taxpayers throughout King County.
5. Any funding package shall include funding for arts and heritage programs and facilities.
6. The Basketball Club of Seattle contributes a significant amount towards the capital costs associated with a new remodel of Key Arena and is responsible for any gap between the tax revenues generated in King County to pay for the remodel and the project's capital costs.
7. The Basketball Club of Seattle is responsible for any capital cost overruns associated with a new remodel of Key Arena.
B. Lease terms
1. Any negotiated split in revenue streams between the City and the Basketball Club of Seattle and/or rental payment to the City must be sufficient to pay all direct and indirect Key Arena operations and maintenance costs for which the City is responsible. In addition, as the owners of Key Arena, the City should receive annual net revenues (after any City direct and indirect costs are paid for) that are at least equal to what the City projects Key Arena can generate without the Sonics/Storm as tenants.
2. The net revenues the City receives from above shall be deposited into the City's General Fund to be used at the City's discretion.
3. Revenues that the City currently receives from parking and admission taxes should be deposited into the City's General Fund to be used at the City's discretion. These revenues should not be included in any calculation of net revenues to the City described in criteria B1 above.
4. The lease requires the Sonics/Storm to play at Key Arena at least through the life of the debt payments or be responsible for paying off any remaining debt service should the Basketball Club of Seattle attempt to terminate its lease prior to that time.
5. The Basketball Club of Seattle is responsible for all major maintenance to the arena through the life of the debt payments.
6. A proposed lease should carefully address potential impacts to existing Key Arena employees.
7. The Basketball Club of Seattle commits to providing tangible benefits to the public. These public benefits should be in addition to those already offered by the Basketball Club of Seattle and should not be used as "credits" against the City's bottom line as outlined in B1.
Great, it's official, Seattle city council wants what they have said that they have wanted for the past year.
What's the City of Renton's take on dealing with the Basketball Club of Seattle?
Alex Pietsch, Renton's economic-development administrator, said a major sports facility would serve as a cornerstone for The Landing and "create a tremendous amount of energy and activity in an area we'd like to see revitalized."
Construction is scheduled to start later this year on the first phase of the urban village, with 600,000 square feet of retail and 900 apartments or condos on former Boeing land. An arena would take up the 20-acre second phase of the development, Pietsch said.
The city is paying for $24 million in road and utility improvements near the arena, and the state plans to widen I-405 between Renton and Bellevue. The city is also open to all funding possibilities for a new arena.
"We're going in with eyes wide open," Pietsch said.
Eyes wide open? What is this "eyes wide open" thing you speak of? I'm from Seattle where you can get $31 million in Streetcar to nowhere money with little more than colorful pictures sketched out by Paul Allen's promoters, but don't expect to get a nickel if you actually have an option to leave.
I'll drive from my Seattle home to your city to watch our team; and I'll spend my money, and never again vote for spending one darn nickel on the Seattle Center.