I thought I'd put up a new thread so that we can talk about the arena proposal without wading through all the previous comments on the issue:
My general thought is that it is pretty much "as expected" We've been hearing the $500 million mark thrown around for a long time and I was pretty sure about the two sites. They are desperate to commit to one site or the other but simply have not been able to make things work.
One suprise on my end was the fact that the $500 million number included all infrastructure improvements. The actual arena tab is $340-360 million. I expected the team to portray only the cost of the arena in an effort to make their contribution appear more substantial. They are basically offering to pay about 30% of the building cost, but it only 20% of the project cost. It makes a better sell at 30%.
To put this in perspective remember that the city of Seattle completely redid the freeway off ramps at the Northgate mall exit a few years back. That was a WSDOT transportation expense that they paid to accomodate growth and support the business and community benefits of having a thriving mall in the area. I believe that presenting the $360 number would have helped them to impress the taxpayers but clearly they never expect a vote. Instead they decided to play things straight with the legislature and present a transperent number.
I'll put out more thoughts as they occur to me...