There you go, in one statement we demonstrate two key points to the Sonics Arena argument. The first is that the new sculpture park really is nice. I visited this weekend and it demonstrated to me how important it is that we continue to build first class amenities in this city. No argument against basketball sickens me more than "what do I care if Seattle is a first class city"
I care about Seattle being first class. I care a lot. I think investments like the Sculpture park are essential to make sure that my standard of living continues to stay at a high enough level to justify the taxes, traffic, and other headaches that come with living here. If not I will take my business and all the taxes it generates somewhere else and watch NBA games on TV. Now the argument against is that the city paid only 25% of the park cost and I totally understand that. The city paid about 45% (0r $50 million) of the funds for the remodel of McGraw Hall for the Seattle Ballett and Opera. If public funds were required for 45% of the private ballet and 25% of the arts park then why should they pay for 60% of the arena? Supply and demand baby. Only 30 NBA franchises in the whole wide world and lots and lots of cities compete when one becomes a free agent. Still the principle applies. Pay for nice things for our community. Provide quality of life benefits for our citizens and make this place first class.
Metronatural is what you're going to get if the Sonics leave. Don't fool yourself that every dollar will go to schools and roads. Nick Licata budgeted $130 million in "tourism development" dollars to replace the Sonics. Go to www.metronatural.com to see how that money will be spent...I'd rather have basketball.
Arena proposal is due out any day. I don't know about you guys but I have trouble putting any energy behind it at all until I see what they have on paper. I need to be ready to get focused at that time though...