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Does the New Arena Really Need Seats?

I come from a place (Aberdeen, WA) where we had a gym that sat around 3,000 people for a basketball game.  It rarely ever filled up for that unless we played our main rival, Hoquiam.  I'd go to pretty much every basketball game (because I was in pep band mostly) and the student section never set.  Hell most of the parents never sat either.  Everyone stood for the game, even if Aberdeen was getting blown out by 20.

Fast forward to the University of Maryland.  Not a whole lot of sitting going on there for basketball games.  I think one kid did sit and he got beat up for it.  His couch was also probably set on fire.  A lot of people ask me about Maryland and my setting couches on fire jokes.  Just google Maryland and couch.  See what comes up.

Let's go a little bit further forward to February 29, 2008 - Key Arena, against the Miami Heat.  I spent roughly $600 that night on tickets for me and three of my friends to sit five rows behind the Miami Heat bench.  I bought the tickets through StubHub, Clay Bennett wasn't getting an actual dime from me on tickets.  He did more than make up for it with me at the team shop though.

Coming from a culture of wanting to stand through a basketball game, win or lose, makes you want to stand for a basketball game.  Especially a game that is featuring Dwayne Wade and Kevin Durant, future hall of famers.

We're standing through the introductions, national anthem, tip and the first few baskets.  Eventually I hear, "Hey ass****s!  Sit down!"

This was coming from a guy about two rows back.  I ignored the guy in the custom cut, casual suit and the trying way too hard to look east side, but was actually a UW student (my buddy later confirmed she was a sorority girl who only dated execs and was about to fail out -- his cousin).  I was there to watch a basketball game, to have fun.

Be damned if a guy who paid less for tickets than I did would tell me what to do!

Eventually (three minutes later) an usher came and told us that we needed to sit down for the game and only stand during proper, exciting moments.  I told him this was the NBA and it was very exciting.  Chris Wilcox scored 30 points that night!  How is that not exciting?

Take a look at the city who took our team.  OKC doesn't sit until the home team scores their first basket.

Stupid!  That's not a college atmosphere!  Well, in retrospect, the state of Oklahoma has never really been a basketball hot bed, nor a college team to get really excited about.  Even if they actually stand for an entire Sooners football game, which tends to be an hour longer and has a lot more weird scheduled time outs and down time in the action.  Also, no Kevin Durant.  Landry Jones is not as exciting as Kevin Durant.

What's the point of standing for only 20 seconds at most usually and then sitting down?  Why can't we stand for a full professional game?  Why is it so hard to stay engaged for two hours?

Back to Seattle -- everyone stands for how ever long a soccer game lasts.  Everyone seems to stand up for an entire Seahawks game.  Back when the Mariners were good no one ever sat down during the final few innings.

Why can't we stand for two hours for a basketball game?  Why can't we stand and be totally engaged in a game featuring the best athletes in the world?

If I was the Fan Prime Minister for Sonics' games, none would be allowed to sit unless there was a broken bone below your hip (even then you have crutches) or your were confined to a wheelchair and couldn't physically stand up.

Why can't we buck this trend.  Create a real college atmosphere for games.  I'm sorry, but it is a hell of a lot more intimidating when you have fans standing up and lording over you, screaming over the alternative of people sitting down and texting.

There is no reason we can't be real fans, stand the entire time, come up with chants, songs, be loud with.  We don't need some dude in the PA box pushing a button to tell us to chant defense or "everybody clap your hands."  No one claps their hands anyway.  It's annoying.  We're Seattle basketball fans.  We have an O'Brien Trophy, we've had the likes of Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp on our floor keeping us on our feet anyway because you never knew when the next big lob pass was coming.

I implore you to stand the whole time next year at Key Arena.  I beg of you to stand at the new arena.  Show them they could have saved a lot of money on seats.  We don't need to sit down.  The NBA is exciting (minus the Utah Jazz) and there should be no reason to want to sit down and check your smart phone every ten minutes.

I'm not going to sit down at the Key next season.