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Arena Timeline Pushed Back Again

Don't call it a delay

News broke late last night that the required paperwork for the Seattle Arena that the Department of Planning and Development have been waiting for from Chris Hansen has still not been turned in. The news was originally reported by Jon Humbert at KOMO, who referred to it as a delay.

We at Sonics Rising not only refuse to refer to it as such, but we find it to be misleading to do so. A delay means that there is a hard date that is being pushed back. This is simply a projected timeline being reprojected. The DPD has said that once the paperwork is turned in, there is a four-month period of review. Therefore, with October rapidly approaching, the timeline for a fully finished EIS is now being advertised as February of 2015.

Keep in mind, this is not a hard date. There is no one saying "this project will be completed by February 2015." This is the process. We have known this all along. But in today's world of Twitters and iPods and microwave ovens, everyone wants things now, now, now. Well, kids, patience is a virtue and one that needs to be exercised by fans of both the Sonics and the NHL alike. We all know that everything hinges on the arena and the arena hinges on the EIS.

So what's the reason that Hansen has not yet turned in the required paperwork? Could it be that new issues have arisen that need further review? Potentially. Could it also be that Hansen has all of his ducks in a row and is waiting until absolutely necessary to submit the paperwork in order to avoid contentious lawsuits? Also possible. In fact, knowing how Hansen operates to the extent that we do, I'd say probable. (NOTE: This is entirely my speculation and is not based on any insider knowledge).

So while your first instinct may be to groan or throw your hands in the air, keep in mind how meticulous Chris Hansen has been up until this point. Until he or his team tell us that things have been hindered or slowed down, trust in them and trust in the process. Nothing has been "delayed."