Arena opponent's success in convincing political leaders that the arts and sports were fighting for limited cultural investment and audiences played a key role in the Sonics departure in 2008. At the time the general public was made to believe that artists were offended by the request for publicly funded sports venues and vehemently opposed to investment in regional sports teams. While that myth may have fooled Nick Licata into taking the wrong side on sports issues it has proven to have no basis in fact.
The truth is that the crowd out for a beer or social experience at the ballpark on a sunny night is made up largely of the same event driven, culture loving people that you would be likely to find at a rock concert or similar event. Organizations such as OneReel and 4Culture place great value on the concept of entertainment diversity and have shown themselves to support investment into a vibrant culture with diverse options including sports. The Seattle Nightlife and Music Association was one of our most critical and appreciated allies in the fight.
In 2009 our friends from at Neumos hosted a Sonics tribute hip-hop show featuring Neema Khorani (@Mr10K), Grynch (@Grynch206), Wizdom (@Wizdom80), DJ100Proof (@DJ100Proof) and Sport'n Life Records (@SportnLife206) artist Fatal Lucciauno (@FatalLucciauno). Since that time the music community has been an essential ally, evidenced by the hugely impactful SonicsArena rally last June where artists like the Blue Scholars (@BlueScholars), Grynch and The Presidents of the United States joined together to really demonstrate the diversity of our movement.
The diversity of that rally is nothing new. Support has ranged from rocker Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan) of Guns N Roses who was a very active supporter of ArenaSolution to hip hop megastar Macklemore (@Macklemore), a friend long before we brought Shawn Kemp on stage with him at the 2011 Bumbershoot.
Radio support by KISW's BJ Shea (@BJShea) and Eddie Francis (@YourBoyEddie) formerly of KUBE helped us to reach a much broader audience than sports radio alone would have allowed while The Physics (@ThePhysics), Space3Man (@Spac3Man) and The Natural Truth (@TNT206) joined EDawg (@EDawg206) to make the "We Ready" video tribute last year . I will always appreciate the critical support given by Benito Ybarra and the promoters at Soul Gorilla (@SoulGorilla) who kept me in the game at a time when it would have been easier to fade into the background.
At that 2009 tribute show filmmaker Jason Reid met Save Our Sonics media coordinator Adam Brown and a documentary movie project was transformed into a movement. The impact of Camp Jones, Ian Connors, Darren Lund, Colin White and everybody at @Sonicsgate cannot be understated. Their use of film and visual imagery not only changed the nature of the conversation on a national level but it also helped many people process the situation and heal our community in a meaningful way that would not have been possible without them.
Dance and the NBA have been intertwined since Seattle SuperSonics created the first male dance squad in the league. The Booms Squad was a huge part of the experience for Sonics fans but they did not depart with the team. Also known as the Massive Monkee Dance Crew they have represented Seattle on America's Best Dance Crew and as CURRENT WORLD CHAMPIONS and fixtures in the Seattle nightlife community wield unique influence on the city's underground culture. They have been symbolic of our team cities love affair with the Sonics and continue to make it cool to be a Sonics fan. I am very privileged to serve on the board of their nonprofit, Extraordinary Futures (www.ExtraordinaryFutures.org). It has been an awesome relationship and I expect to see plenty of Green and Gold this Saturday evening when we celebrate Massive Monkee Day at the Showbox Market.
Artists for the most part tend to be fiercely provincial, possessing a hometown pride that resonates throughout their close nit and supportive communities. They wear more jerseys and talk about their passion for the city more than any other people I have ever been around. They are natural sports fans.
The artistic community's amazing love of Seattle, support for the Sonics and passionate pursuit of dreams against long odds has been nothing short of inspirational to me and many others. On behalf of Sports I want to say THANK YOU MUSIC, FILM and DANCE! You had our back and we will always remember it.
Thats a lot of names dropped. I probably missed a few but it wasn't intentional. THANKS!