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RSS icon Comments on No Sonics Legislation This Session


I think all those who didn't support the Sonics' bill should go down to Key Arena tonight and join hands and sing Kumbaya because they won.
And then they can exchange vegetarian recipes and ask each other where they bought their hemp clothes and ask where the next "dump Bush" meeting will be held!
Because they won!
It's so exciting because ALL the money that Seattle would have spent keeping the Sonics in town is now going toward Education.
And transportation!
And Monorails!
Our children won!
Because they will be so smarter because of our Legislature's decision!

Posted by Lenny Wilkens is Great! | April 16, 2007 9:04 PM

HOORAY! Not only does this mean that Washington tax-payers won't have to pony up for another god damned sports stadium but it also means I get out of work on Friday rather than working through the weekend. There was a lot of concern that the session might drag if they pushed the Sonics bill through.

Posted by Faber | April 16, 2007 9:14 PM

If I recall correctly, The Stranger-- including you, Dan Savage-- was adamantly against building Safeco Field. We heard the same arguments then-- sports adds nothing to the community, the money can be better spent elsewhere, etc.-- that we're hearing again about new Sonic's arena. Is it not somewhat hypocritical that you, Dan Savage, editor of this paper, are now a Mariners season ticket holder? I hope you enjoy the father-son sports-related (and very white) summer-afternoon familial bliss at a Safeco Field your paper worked overtime to kill. But maybe you want to think a little bit about what those afternoons mean when your paper cheers the Sonics departure. It means when your son becomes a basketball fan (and he will-- baseball's always been more of a grade-school sport) you'll have nowhere to take him. There's also the racial isuue here, though I think it shouldn't be overstated (after all, we did build a new arena for the Sonics when they were good), but Dan, as a member of a sexual minority group, even if you can't get behind the Sonics, surely the Storm, the most gay-friendly sports franchise in the city, is worth saving? Let's have a little perspective here: the arguments against building Safeco Field were just as valid as those against the Sonics stadium, and who's complaining about Safeco Field now? Certainly not the Stranger; definitely not Dan Savage.

I will say this: I think the Renton proposal is deliberately unworkable because the new owners want to move the team. This is what we should be outraged about.

So Dan, for consistancy's sake, why don't you give up your Mariners season tickets. Since you value education so much-- that's where the money should be spent, right?-- you can stay at home with your son and do Hooked on Phonics instead. I'm sure he'll love that.

Posted by Mr Me | April 16, 2007 10:36 PM

Might as well have tickets for something you paid for anyway.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | April 16, 2007 11:11 PM

Good riddance. Do let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of town.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | April 16, 2007 11:16 PM

The issue was never about whether these buildings would be built but rather who would pay for them, who would pay for their maintenance and who would collect the revenues. If the the owners of these franchises(vanity purchases worth hundreds of millions of dollars that still always seem to sell for a large profit)think they'd be better off with new stadiums they should fork over the money themselves. Instead cities are played against each other, lied to by company consultants that new stadiums will help pay for themselves by improving the local economy, and left with the bill but few if any of the economic benefits. Berating Mr. Savage for taking his son to the ballgame eleven years after the Washington State Legislature overrode the voters decision not to publicly fund a new Mariners stadium is fucking ridiculous.

The case for a new baseball stadium had a lot more going for it than this Renton-Sonics thing. The Kingdome was literally falling apart and was an eyesore. What exactly is the Sonic's rationale for leaving Key Arena? That they can't make money there?... then why did they just recently buy the team?
The Safeco and Qwest debacles apparently helped convince the legislature that maybe we don't need to hand out even more money to mega-millionaires, even if it did take a decade at least it's progress.

Posted by dirge | April 16, 2007 11:17 PM

Mr. Me: your comment about being a season ticket holder is totally irrelevant. If you buy a $400 shirt, and later regret doing so, does that mean you should never wear the shirt?

The (baseball) stadium is already built. Any position whether or not it should have been built is irrelevant now. Refusing to attend will not put any of that money back in the state's hands.

Posted by no one in particular | April 16, 2007 11:35 PM

If you buy a $400 shirt, you're an idiot. If you are an idiot who buys a $400 shirt, you probably have no concept of the feeling of regret. If we hypothetically imagine the possibility of that happening, no, you should never wear that shirt. Instead, cut it up into pieces and stick them on every child who deserves a mother and father.

Posted by syllogism | April 16, 2007 11:49 PM

"We want to recognize Senator Margarita Prentice and Representative Eric Pettigrew for their courageous leadership in the Legislature." Hand outs to richies. Courageous, utterly courageous.

Posted by Gabe Global | April 17, 2007 12:00 AM

I remember the ad campaign for this year's Sonics season was trumpeting how THIS season would be the most important season in the history of the team.

And they were NEVER competitive...and it didn't feel like they mattered--not even the PLAYERS seemed to care.

Hard to make voters and taxpayers care about making 'em happy under those sort of circumstances...

But, had this all happened when GP & the Reignman were making the Sonics THE most exciting team in the NBA? I'd have been a tax approval voting motherfucker, that's for sure.


PS--...and if Junior hadn't scored all the way from second in 1995, there'd probably be no Safeco Field.

Posted by pgreyy | April 17, 2007 1:35 AM

I don't see the value in the war in Iraq, and I still have to pay for it, but I'm not heading over there. I don't see the value in abstinence-only education, and I wouldn't let my kids take part in it. If I don't like the politics of a company, I don't buy their products. The argument against all the stadiums has always been that they have no value-- economic, social, etc.-- to add to the community. But then, miraculously, in the case of both the Seahawks and the Mariners, as soon as the team is good, the "value" is miraculously discovered, and people like Dan Savage suddenly have season tickets for a venue they had labeled unneccesary and wasteful. Either the stadium has value or not. If you want to enjoy live sports, as Dan and his son do (and me and my father used to), you have to accept that the city is going to have to subsidize their venues. If you don't want the city to build more stadiums, don't make large venues like Safeco Field a success by attending the games. The attitude is, "Okay, I was wrong, I do like having the Mariners around, but I'm sure I won't ever like the Sonics," even though, in 1995, the same people were saying, "I'll never like the Mariners, but the Sonics, I like." (This is when the Sonics were probably the most popular sports franchise in town). As pgrevy points out-- shortsightedly-- the Sonics had the misfortune of seeking a new stadium and being bad at the same time. If the Sonics were good now, and people like Dan's son were paying attention to them and going to the games, the stadium would already be built by now. But sports franchises are inherently cyclical. The Sonics are bad now, but they'll be good again someday, and the city will miss them.

I think the real issue is that, in fact, the Sonics new owners always have intended to move the team. The owners were the ones who brought the Hornets temporarily to New Orleans, and the name of the conglomorate that bought the team was called "Basketball in Oklahoma City." No doubt they are overjoyed by the general apathy towards the team in the community, not to mention the self-righteous reaction of the "education-not-sports" crowd. Trust me, the money for the stadium is not going to go to education, it will just not be raised at all. If you would rather have a few extra bucks in your pocket than professional basketball in Seattle, then you should be glad. But for those, like Dan Savage, that were for a few extra bucks instead of Safeco Field, why not save yourself more money by not attending the games? Anything else is hypocrisy.

Posted by Mr Me | April 17, 2007 2:16 AM

"The argument against all the stadiums has always been that they have no value-- economic, social, etc.-- to add to the community."

That's not so. Many of us against giving hundreds of millions of public money to private business are sports fans. I personally have been a Sonics fan since I was 8 years old. I see a lot of value they bring to the city. But the NBA is a broken economic model based around inflated player salaries. Bottom line is teams don't need public dollars, they want them because it makes them even more money. If the players and coaches took a 20% decrease in their huge salaries the teams wouldn't need public funds. The players would still average over $3 million per year PLUS millions more in potential endorsements. This is purely about greed and rich dudes wanting more. It is bad public and economic policy to give pro sports teams pubic money. If the State funds a team then they should have partial ownership. If they fund the stadium the State should make revenues from the stadium and the team should be unable to leave the city until the complete cost of the stadium has been paid off. Look at how badly the Sonics have screwed the City of Seattle, conning us into giving them around $100 million to rebuild them a venue that wouldn't be able to make a profit because the specs are not up to NHL standards, and then holding us hostage for hundreds of millions more just 10 years later, finally abandoning the new building and threatening to break their lease, leaving this massive space to the City to try to find another use for. Why would any city want a partner like that? They have broken the public trust, acted out of pure greed, and will now leave us all high and dry without a team we have supported for nearly half a century. No wonder people don't want to support these homophobic, union busting greedy snakes.

Posted by Frank | April 17, 2007 7:57 AM

There are miracles!!! I mean being an atheist this just about makes me get on one knee!! Washington finally learned how to say no to corporate welfare!!!! Maybe we are not totally doomed!!! ((happy happy joy joy dance!!))

Posted by Andrew | April 17, 2007 8:20 AM

I am a huge sports fan, and to say that there is no cultural value in professional sports teams is ridiculous, but I think there has to be a better way to do this. I think putting a tax on events at the new arena, sports, music, conventions everything could pay for it in a reasonable amount of time. If I knew that parking in the parking garage for $10 went to the arena, I would finally use one of those damn things, but I think the days of public funding for arenas is over and the people who suffer the most are not the millionaires and billionaires, but the fans of these sports teams!

Posted by Colin | April 17, 2007 8:34 AM

Yeah, I'll bet that Senator Margarita Prentice, aka La Puta Grande is cranky this morning. Oh well. She can always go back to sucking off the PayDay lenders now that Bennett's going to leave town.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | April 17, 2007 8:38 AM

Hey there is almost nothing that has no value. Especially to someone. Duh.......

The question is relative value -- and reasonableness -- most of us support public subsidies in moderation for things we like-- for example, arts, parks, some sports and entertainment:

--public ballfields
--schools that do sports
--a modest subsidy for a public facility for amateur games or even some pro games BUT NOT HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.
--som elevel of subsidies of Bumbershoot, or perhaps a PNW dance festival.

Sports team owners are just trying to rip us off. They "lose money" for years in operating revenues then make millions when selling the team -- millions they refuse to share with us, their "partners" (the public); they even try to stick us with the debts!

(Can you say falling tiles?)

If a private investor "sold" that deal to unsophisticated investors, telling them is was sound and they would make money, they would be prosecuted for fraud and racketeering.

You want pro sports, fine, you go pay for it. IF we pay for it, give us an oownership stake equal to our investment as a percentage of ours plus Clay Bennet's investment.

Posted by duh | April 17, 2007 8:54 AM

I miss the old Sonics. Gary "the glove" Payton, Shawn "lush" Kemp, Detlef "nazi hair cut" Shrempf, man the Sonics had a squad back in da day.

The supes gave me good memories. I'm a Sixers fan, and beleive that Dr. J is the messiah, but I have always had a soft spot for the supes after moving here.

But as a sports fan, I will never support public subsidies for rich owners. That is just plain stupid. There is no logical sense for a city to pay an owner to keep a team here.

I know that the majority of the people who did not support the key are anti sports hippies and thats cool I guess. Seattle is not much of a sports town because is full of out of towners who loathe sports or sucked at them in High school so they got a grudge. But a good chunk of us are sports fans from other cities.

Finally, the latest versions of the Supes were painful to watch, regardles of Ray who is 65 years old. Rahsard was (is) lazy, Luke Ridnour is an overrated white boy, Nick Collison is a bastard version of Kevin McHale and the team lacked any kind of chemistry or inside game.

Later Sonics and take the Storm with you, because with the exception of Jackson, they suck too.

Posted by SeMe | April 17, 2007 9:16 AM

I was talking with a republican friend a couple months ago. She was railing against the "culture of entitlement" in America. I thought she was talking about poor people, and I didn't really get her point. But now I understand what she meant.

Posted by Lark Hawk | April 17, 2007 9:32 AM

> If you want to enjoy live sports,
> as Dan and his son do (and me
> and my father used to), you
> have to accept that the city
> is going to have to subsidize
> their venues.

Not in all cases. AT&T Park in San Francisco was built without the use of public funds.

Posted by johnzo | April 17, 2007 9:46 AM

The problem is that the Sonics DON'T want to stay here. The Sonics (read Clay Bennett) have reframed the issue to make it look as if Seattle/Washington rejects them. That is false. Seattle would love for them to stay, and in fact have signed a contract indicating they want them here through 2010.

The Sonics, however, will only accept Seattle's invitation to stay if Seattle pays them to stay. The Sonics could honor years of fan support, goodwill, and tradition and choose to stay. Instead, they are choosing to ignore a decades long relationship for higher profits.

If this really was about "community", the Sonics would make some sacrifices.

The Sonics will not lose money if they remain here, they just won't make as much! They could stay here for years make money and be a community partner. But, the Sonics would rather increase their profit, not from hard work or earning it, but from taking it from the community.

The point is that the Sonics are leaving Seattle, not Seattle rejecting the Sonics. Why stay in this abusive one-sided relationship?

Posted by medina | April 17, 2007 10:05 AM

Victory is sweet.

Tell the Sonics to take the plans for the Underwater Tunnel with them.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 17, 2007 10:07 AM

Dear Mr Me. We here on the slog comments beat up on Dan for having supported the Iraq War. Please try to stay on message. Thanks.

Posted by mason | April 17, 2007 10:19 AM

there is nothing wrong with Key Arena. the sonics have NEVER bothered to justify their dissatisfation with facts & figures. even Schultz's vauted 250 million dollar remodel never had drawings that were released to the public. Bennett's 'you're-hurting-my-feelings-by-being-jaded-&-suspicious' act makes me puke.

pane et circenses.

Posted by Max Solomon | April 17, 2007 10:45 AM

If you love basketball so much why not go to high school games?(or college) cheaper/free, more exciting, root for your hood, and every couple of years an NBA star or two is produced and you can say you saw him back in the day. Its not like you're trapped in a sports free zone.

Of course none of the money is going to education instead. But the next earthquake or other disaster etc we won't have our credit tied up to pay billionaires in Oklahoma.

By all accounts the financial model of the NBA is falling apart everywhere, why should Seattle/Washington be the last suckers? In five years, some Seattle billionaire can buy the Sonics back and use the perfectly good Key Arena(or whatever its called, its still the Coliseum to me).

Posted by Anna | April 17, 2007 11:31 AM

Well, I would agree with Clay that they went to extraordinary lengths to get the stadium built. They busted their ass. I appreciate their effort, because I thought they'd just give a token "give us a stadium", but then leave anyway. The new owners were clear that they wanted a new stadium for the Sonics to stay. But there was no way Washington taxpayers would want to pay for that, especially with all our transportation projects on our plate. I still would like to see this put on a ballot, though. Let the voters decide (and ultimately reject) the Sonics' fate.

And Margarita Prentice was courageous, because now she has been outed as a whore to the rich elite.

Oh, and pgreyy- Griffey scored from first, not second. But I agree, had he not done that, there would be no Safeco.

Posted by him | April 17, 2007 12:42 PM

SeMe, 70% of King County residents are not hippies. People are just sick of paying for new stadiums, when we’re paying off 4 now.

Seattle is composed of fair weather fans like me. If the team is OK, we’ll watch, otherwise there’s too much else going on, indoors and outdoors. And not just that, the teams haven’t been here long enough to have the kind of deep, fanatical community attachment that east coast teams have. We’re not “real” fans, and damn proud of it. The exception is UW football.

Nick Collison and Luke whatshisname have been the two most productive draft choices of the last five years--that says it all. In fairness, however, neither is a 7-foot piece of wood, unlike their other draft picks—Collison, in his defense, can jump about 4 inches. He’s like Kevin McHale, except without the ability to jump, score and pass.

Posted by Biff | April 17, 2007 1:27 PM

He’s like Kevin McHale, "except without the ability to jump, score and pass."

=)thus a bastard version?

Posted by SeMe | April 17, 2007 1:41 PM

What about the Everett Explosion - Independent Basketball League? If you want basketball, why not check them out.

Posted by snacky | April 17, 2007 3:07 PM

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