There are a few things about this MOU for the new Sonics Arena that many may not know.
The MOU stipulates "specific performance" on behalf of ArenaCo for the entire 30 year period. This means if they try to stop providing what they are supposed to provide in the MOU, ie engage in a breach of contract, the City/County can take them to court and force them to stay. So that leaves only bankruptcy as an out for ArenaCo. Like Hansen, Ballmer and Nordstrom's et al are going to go bankrupt.. yeah right.
Then there's the equity in the team itself. Under the MOU, City and County have a first position right to 60% of the value of the NBA team should for whatever reason the team be sold. As you all know, teams just go up in value, like shitfold all the way to Sunday on Mars. So even before bankruptcy can be considered, we have the right to essentially foreclose on the team itself as a form of collateral.
As sga points out in the ST forums, it's not truly "collateral," because we don't have title to the team or a deed of trust or whatever, however if you take the MOU and go to any court of law it's clear as day that we will come out with up to 60% of team value (as needed to cover the obligations under the MOU). Yes, it takes time to go to court, even years, but the taxpayer will be protected here. This is as ironclad as it gets.
ArenaCo, HoldCo and TeamCo are specifically disallowed from mortgaging the teams beyond the 40% currently allowed under NBA rules. We get the rest if the team is ever sold. It's a massive protection for the taxpayers in Seattle & King County.
The other issue that I'd like to expose is that this deal MAKES NET POSITIVE REVENUE for the City and State (hugely for the state), and possibly for KC. This arena is a moneymaker for the taxpayer. Tell that to all the blindfolded naysayers you find screaming about tax giveaways. The sales taxes alone are a freaking huge boon to the state, and to local services that have downstream revenues from such state taxes.
I talked with a Seattle medic today who is worried about losing jobs due to cutbacks. They may lose their uniformed dispatch center to a non-uniformed one (cheaper to operate). He says, yeah, the mayor feels he can get by without a service that has been with Seattle since 1890s, over 100 years of uniformed dispatcher service, but he needs to build a new basketball arena. I called him out, you know, this arena is a money maker, and it doesn't use general fund. He actually understood this... but acknowledged that his rhetoric around this issue was intentionally/willfully geared toward the "average voter" and how simplistic they see the issues. He openly admitted that the arena is a non-issue in terms of risk to the taxpayer or other public services. Just like the port, other interests are willfully using the arena as their way to get what they need, or in this case, not lose what they need. Call them on it. Don't let them get away with it. The facts are on our side this time.
BTW I 100% support them keeping uniformed dispatchers. Good on ya, union paramedics. We have the best in the entire world here in Seattle/King County. "Best place in the world to have a heart attack." Our medic one system is the gold standard, admired and copied the world over.
Go Chris Hansen, SonicsArena.com, Arenasolution.org and SONICS FANS! We can't stop the pressure now ... this is the end of the 4th quarter, we need to stay focused and get this job done. Keep writing letters to the councils and the newspapers. Keep putting this issue in the face of your friends and neighbors. Keep pointing out the truth... don't let the inevitable political games run the narrative on this issue.