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Monday, February 3, 2014

Hey Seattle, Love That Championship Feeling? Then Build a New Arena!

Posted by on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

One thing that opponents of the proposed Sodo arena always seem to miss is that this is much more than a purely economic decision. It may be totally irrational, but professional sports teams are a quality of life issue for many people, as evidenced by the regional euphoria triggered by yesterday's Super Bowl blowout. Sure, there is also an economic impact (and who knows, perhaps the lost productivity will offset the extra commerce?) but the Seahawks' championship season simply made a lot of people happy, and happiness is a public good in itself, even without dollar signs attached.

Do you like feeling this good, Seattle? Then build a new arena. For building a new arena would double our chances of winning a championship—triple if we get a hockey team.* Hell, with a new arena, we would have the chance of feeling this good two or three times a year!

Sure, there are still important economic and governance issues to consider before building a new arena, but (objectively silly as they are) the intangible benefits provided by professional sports are just as important. Only the most curmudgeonly curmudgeon would argue that winning the Super Bowl isn't good for Seattle. And you've gotta play to win.

* [Yes, with both the Seahawks and the Mariners already playing in Seattle, adding both NBA and NHL teams would technically only double our chances of winning a championship. But we all know that the Mariners will never win a World Series, so honestly, why muddy the equation?]

 

Comments (59) RSS

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MacCrocodile 1
I will only support getting a hockey team for Seattle if we can call it the Seattle Freeze. But Jesus Christ, Goldy, enough with the arenas already.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 9:22 AM · Report this
2
YAY! build a new arena!

but keep our port and railroad jobs, right?

and why not comply with our law we passed by 74% that says this is a subsidy providing tax breaks and other financial benefits of a cash nature to Hansen. So -- no subsidies.

Sports are thrilling, the fan base is huge, there should be no problem in adding $10 to the price of every ticket so the fans themselves boost the revenue that pays back a PRIVATE $200 million loan. no need for public money at all, right? Since winning and teams and fandom are so popular. Oh wait, a private loan would mean:

-Chris Hansen can't take $270 additional cash equivalents by counting taxes as loan repayments.
-Hansen has to pay property taxes, costing him another $350 million or so. Helping fund education and things progressives believe in, why are stadua nonprofit when the generate so much money btw, they're not churches or charity hospitals.
-oh yes, and instead of doing the loan on a zero profit basis for the city, using our credit for 30-50 years AND NOT PAYING A DIME FOR IT he'd have to pay the stipulated rate above the cost of borrowing.
--finally in a bank loan he has to give real security not the fake guaranty and the fake pledge of the team that is controlled by owner approval in a sale. when you borrow form a bank they don't let your competitors give approval to sell the Whidbey property you use for collateral do they?

fortunetly, the excitement generated by sports means all these subsidies can be avoided through the simple technique of billionares using bank money, or how about Hansen ponies up the $200 million himself -- he and ballmer do not need $731 million in subsidies.

oh also -- the intangibles are arguable at best but anyway under I 91 they don't count as value of any kind. Funny how progressives get so caught up they end up advocating massive public subsidies for massive billionaires in a massive cartel that injures people as its business model -- not your usual "progressive" recipient of public welfare is it?
More...
Posted by ah "intangibles".... on February 3, 2014 at 9:36 AM · Report this
3
Goldy, so after 38 years of playing the Seahawks finally win the NFL's championship game. That's great. Remember the other 37 years where the end of the season was no big deal and divide it out.

Or do you have one pleasant conversation with your ex and then decide it's time to get married again ?
Posted by ChefJoe on February 3, 2014 at 9:39 AM · Report this
4
Or maybe spend the money on more important things that make more of us consistently happy for a longer period of time, without having to do something really rare like win a championship.
Posted by Sterno on February 3, 2014 at 9:40 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 5
@2
and why not comply with our law we passed by 74% that says this is a subsidy providing tax breaks and other financial benefits of a cash nature to Hansen. So -- no subsidies.


Wasn't the law (and that's surely what drove David Stern to punish us) that any subsidy had to be 100% repaid and the city turn a profit on it?
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://www.zombo.com on February 3, 2014 at 9:43 AM · Report this
6
@2, you forgot that the bonds issued to build the arena (if they're repaid through guaranteed tax revenues) also get federal tax exempt status... meaning these projects starve the government from doing nice things.
Posted by ChefJoe on February 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM · Report this
7
1) No public funding

2) OK!
Posted by romance_and_robots on February 3, 2014 at 9:48 AM · Report this
rob! 8
If Seattle gets a new basketball/hockey arena soon, in 38 years they'll likely be playing in the second successor to that arena. Owners and leagues have a way of demanding pricey upgrades, every 15 years or so, that somehow can't be accommodated in the old venues.

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/05/139018592/…
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on February 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM · Report this
9
I know this is 'Murica and all, but there *is* a professional soccer league, and Seattle *does* have a team. A pretty good one at that, too, having made playoffs every year since joining the league...
Posted by sounders fan on February 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 10
Yeah, some two-bit NBA team that no other city wants is *totally* going to bring home a championship.
Posted by keshmeshi on February 3, 2014 at 10:02 AM · Report this
11
Hey Goldy, have you ever heard of the Sounders FC?
Posted by Here we go on February 3, 2014 at 10:03 AM · Report this
12
The rule is, every five championships, a team can petition for a new stadium.
Posted by tiktok on February 3, 2014 at 10:04 AM · Report this
13
Maybe Seattle voters recognize that we paid a lot of money to build the Clink and here we are a decade and a half later without the idea of hosting a Superbowl here ever being fulfilled. Thanks professional sports!

Posted by ChefJoe on February 3, 2014 at 10:05 AM · Report this
14
Goldy, Seattle also has a MLS team that is likely to pick up a championship in the near future. Clearly soccer is not a sport you follow, which is your choice, but I am willing to wager that the Sounders FC will match or beat the attendance and viewing numbers of a NHL franchise, should Seattle get one. So your advocacy may have a bit more weight behind it if you at least acknowledge the existence of similar scale franchises.

Posted by JayHoytt on February 3, 2014 at 10:15 AM · Report this
15
Goldy the troll.
Posted by Goldy's refractory period post Super Bowl on February 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM · Report this
16
Golly, I felt so good about Paul Allen's team winning the Sports Thing that I want to take a falf-billion dollars and light it on fire! But I'll do it in public, so we can come together as a community and watch it!

Sorry, Goldy: you'll never convince me that we need to spend massive amounts of public funds so that someone else can park their franchise here for a while. At the very least, it's a no-go without public ownership.
Posted by Warren Terra on February 3, 2014 at 10:22 AM · Report this
treacle 17
How many arenas does a city of less than 2m actually need? We don't even have a decent light rail system in place yet.
Posted by treacle on February 3, 2014 at 10:29 AM · Report this
18
I'd like to maintain hope that the Mariners, if they get their Ownership/Front Office issues sorted out, can win a world series, resulting in similar front runnerism and celebrations like we've seen with the Seahawks.

@14, if we get an NHL franchise that becomes a Stanley Cup contender or wins the Stanley Cup, I'll be as good in attendance as the Sounders--proportionally.
Posted by neo-realist on February 3, 2014 at 10:38 AM · Report this
raku 19
Every time the public does anything, they should look at social equality. Only 49% of Americans care about football whatsoever, and we all know it's mostly a certain kind of American. It might make these Americans a little happier, at the expense of the majority. It also clearly is an abomination to economic equality - looking at the ridiculous salary disparities for workers, blatant gender and racial discrimination, and the inequalities for tickets and access.

Absolutely not, this should be a nonstarter. We should be talking about getting rid of the pro sports teams we have once whatever contracts are over. Especially while they're still hosting hate groups like the Redskins and red face Indians.
Posted by raku on February 3, 2014 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 20
Bread and Circuses.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 3, 2014 at 10:47 AM · Report this
Posted by SuperSteve on February 3, 2014 at 11:12 AM · Report this
22
Almost as good as Seahawks winning Sunday was Stern retiring Saturday.

Go Hawks. Suck it Stern.

And yes, bring on the Sonics.
Posted by gator bait on February 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM · Report this
23
I'll agree to a new stadium if the players agree to pay for it out of pocket. My tax dollars have gone to multiple brand-new stadiums for these teams since I moved here less than a decade ago. I'd much rather it went into schools, thanks.
Posted by treehugger on February 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM · Report this
raku 24
Since the specific type of people in power will do whatever they want, and they want everyone else to pay for their sports teams, one bare minimum concession should be banning all blatantly racist teams from playing in any public facilities. This includes football, baseball, and hockey atrocities like this. (tw racism/genocide) http://nativeappropriations.com/category…
Posted by raku on February 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM · Report this
25
Building more sport arenas isn't a priority when so much infrastructure needs immediate attention. Also, the level of violence in the NHL is inconsistent with the notion of civic spectacle. That is a very unfortunate state of affair for sports fans.
Posted by anon1256 on February 3, 2014 at 12:17 PM · Report this
MrBaker 26
@23, I tried to encourage the state to create a "jock tax" a few years ago.
The Seahawk players each made more than $90k winning the Super Bowl yesterday, and each will pay New Jersey income tax.
http://www.nj.com/super-bowl/index.ssf/2…

Whenever our professional sports folks travel to most other states they pay a tax.
In California that tax is used for stadiums and arenas, and a lot of other things.

Plenty of places do not limit it to sports. Mega concerts that tour often have some tax.

The tax should be a facility use - excise tax (use a public facility).
There should be a minimum threshold of 10x the base pay of a public school teacher of when the tax is collected (Storm players don't make much money, same with some Sounders).
The tax should be on a sliding scale.

Personally, I think it should go to public schools to fund all arts, music, and physical education for K12.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 12:29 PM · Report this
27
We should spend municipal funds on a new basketball arena if and only if the municipality can own the team, and not some money grubbing white guy from out of town who just wants to show off a basketball team to his friends before moving it to Boise, Idaho for an extra five bucks.

Stadiums are just another example of socializing expenses and privatizing profit.

Posted by unpaid reader on February 3, 2014 at 12:30 PM · Report this
28
Hey look... while authorized to collect up to 10%, the Seahawks fans are only paying a ticket tax of 3.1% . Quite a deal considering Dow wants to raise the sales tax to 9.6% and Seahawks tickets only pay 3.1%.
http://www.leg.wa.gov/JointCommittees/LF…
Posted by ChefJoe on February 3, 2014 at 12:37 PM · Report this
MrBaker 29
@27, so is the Opra House. So is "McCaw" Hall.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM · Report this
30
But what does your fanwank Kshama feel about taxpayer-supported stadiums, for extremely wealthy teams that are reaming the taxpayers a giant new asshole with their corporate support? WHAT DOES KSHAMA SAY, GOLDY? Surely you could stop sucking her dick for a second to comment.
Posted by Ungag on February 3, 2014 at 12:40 PM · Report this
MrBaker 31
@28, one of many things the state could have given the county exec to use for mass transit.

At least the hotel tax will revert to the county when the stadium bonds are paid, in 2021 or sooner. That's how 4Culture was able to continue existing, thanks to Ed Murray.
4Culture was allowed to use its endowment until the tax becomes available to sustain its funding.

There is, by my rough guesstimate 7 to 10 million dollars not yet dedicated to anything, yet.
Some goes to help homeless youth, some to 4Culture.
But that's a few years out.

Another tax, parking at Safeco Field could also be higher, to fund public transportation. That, too, is controlled by the state.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 12:49 PM · Report this
SPG 32
@14, @18, I don't think you'll see per game attendance at any NHL game approach the 60,000 volume of the Sounders v Timbers match last season. IIRC, the proposed NBA/NHL arena is about 25-35,000 seats max? NBA plays a lot more often than MLS so on total there'd be more tickets sold, but it's not the same number of fans in attendance on game day.
Aaaaaanyway… yeah, Sounders are more likely to win a championship before the Mariners or Sonics. Even so, I like the way that this new stadium would be built if we got an NBA team. It's not the city on the hook for it and that's a better deal than anyone else is getting these days.
Posted by SPG on February 3, 2014 at 12:52 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 33
@29,

Are you under the impression that we have an "opera house" that is distinct from McCaw Hall?
Posted by keshmeshi on February 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM · Report this
John Scott Tynes 34
I love that Goldy not only ignores the Sounders, but the Storm as well. I guess women's sports aren't real sports for Goldy.

And I would argue that the quality of life for Mariners fans has been shitty for a very long time.
Posted by John Scott Tynes http://www.johntynes.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 35
@34 - That's been the reaction every time I've had this conversation.

"...blah blah blah Seattle finally wins a national title."
"What about the WNBA?"
"Well, you know... in the major sports."

Same thing when people complain that Seattle doesn't have a basketball team.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM · Report this
36
@32: But the Sounders play fewer than 20 games a year at home. A hockey team would play more than 40, not including the playoffs, which are not hard to reach in the NHL.
Posted by bigyaz on February 3, 2014 at 1:33 PM · Report this
37
@34, 35: It's not that the WNBA is a women's sport, it's just a league that relatively few people give a rat's ass about. Sorry, but it's true.
Posted by bigyaz on February 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM · Report this
MrBaker 38
@33, one is a public facility that used tax dollars, the other is a corporate naming convention that leveraged those tax dollars ("McCaw" Hall). Same facility, two separate entities

Hopefully people remember the public tax participation in other entertainment in this city and do not fool themselves into thinking funding or financing public facilities is isolated to professional sports.

www.ballpark.org , Safeco Field

www.stadium.org , Seahawks Stadium, Qwest Field, CenturyLink Field
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 2:01 PM · Report this
MrBaker 39
@34 and 35, hopefully there will still be a WNBA in the future.
The LA Sparks suspended operations.
The Storm is a money loser for the city. The MOU with Chris Hansen would transfer that obligation off the city's books and onto the new arena.

The Strorm experience for the fans in a modern facility wouldn't only be marginally better, but the franchise would make more money and be more economically viable.

Major usually refers to popular support. I would include the Storm in a Seattle discussion of major sports, but maybe not the WNBA as a league.
They are no-less a major sports champion in this town than the Metropolitans winning the 1st Stanley Cup.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM · Report this
MrBaker 40
@32, true, and you'll not likely see Sounders ticket prices and event revenue come close to a comparable NHL event, not in the US.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM · Report this
41
The Hansen MOU is as good as dead. Keep Flogging.
Posted by No team no arena on February 3, 2014 at 2:27 PM · Report this
42
@36: Good point, as well as 40 games per year if we get an NBA team. 80 games a year, even with half the capacity, is a lot of business.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on February 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM · Report this
43
@38,
Of course, the public actually voted specifically on both the Mariners and Seahawks (and McCaw Hall, for that matter) projects.
Posted by ChefJoe on February 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM · Report this
watchout5 44
Then put it on the ballot. If this really is a quality of life issue that people agree with you'll get your votes. I mean, that's also assuming you're begging for public dollars to go to billionaire sport team owners. If you just want a new stadium and you're not asking for me to pay for it, I say why not build 2.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on February 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM · Report this
The Empty Yellow Houses of Fort Lawton 45
Please just don't put it on me.
Posted by The Empty Yellow Houses of Fort Lawton http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Lawton on February 3, 2014 at 3:01 PM · Report this
MrBaker 46
@43, then passed a specific law that provided criteria to the city council for all future proposals, and avoid the cost of mounting an opposition vote every time a proposal came by.

The stadiums used an increased sales tax at the county level, as well as an increase in restaurant taxes, and use of hotel taxes. The proposed arena uses none of that.

I am actually hoping to compare the successful proposal for the arena to whatever the Mariners propose when their lease runs out at Safeco Field. Those people are gonna pay.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Goldy 47
@34 et al,

It is telling that more commenters complain about me dissing the Sounders and the Storm by omission than dissing the Mariners explicitly.

In my defense, generally, MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL are considered the four major sports leagues, and some might argue if the NHL even belongs with the other three. I think the Storm have already proven that Seattle doesn't go crazy over a WNBA championship.
Posted by Goldy on February 3, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Report this
MrBaker 48
@44, we already had something on the ballot, there was a vote, congrats, you won. Now, somebody actually met the criteria set in law.
The point of that vote, and law, was to avoid repeatedly going to the ballot by giving the city council explicit criteria to go by.
They have used that, and then some.

The SEPA review and EIS will be done pretty soon and the public can argue about it again then.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 3:40 PM · Report this
MrBaker 49
It is unfortunate that non-profits are exempt from I-91.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on February 3, 2014 at 3:45 PM · Report this
50
@47
Points taken. But still, why no Sounders? People go crazy over them, they have tons of fans, they sell TONS of gear, hotels choose to fly their flag over the mariners, etc...
The Sounders are by any measure a "Major League" team. Even the Seattle Times covers them all the time, even in their offseason. I think its time you made room for them in your "big four".
Posted by JonCracolici on February 3, 2014 at 4:11 PM · Report this
51
@50: The Sounders and a few other MLS teams have "major-league" followings, but the rest of the league does not -- yet.
Posted by bigyaz on February 3, 2014 at 4:50 PM · Report this
52
@46, a lobbyist like Van Dyk should not be entrusted to write good financial criteria. He sort of failed to anticipate a deal structured in such a way that the city didn't own the building to start with. Hansen isn't dumb when it comes to financial deal structures and how to work them.... and so we end up with people like Ben Noble (Murray's now appointed budget director) writing this:

http://clerk.seattle.gov/~public/meeting…

Council Policy Options

1. Council could exempt arena from I-91; or
2. Council could find that the arena proposal’s “fair value” cannot be calculated; or
3. Council could find that “fair value” is still required and evaluate the arena proposal using an alternate approach (i.e., replace “cash on cash return” with another concept)

Alternate approach required to evaluate proposal’s return relative to 30-year treasury bond

Executive’s Proposed Alternate

Council could accept the Executive’s proposed alternate I-91 “fair value” test and accept the conclusion that the Arena meets the test

City expects to borrow at a rate well above the U.S. Treasuries Bill rate, so this may not be the right benchmark for the proposed Arena

Council might then evaluate whether the Arena provides a “fair value” using a different lens

Some factors including annual capital contributions and various “guarantees” do mitigate the risk to City; but basic deal structure is that ArenaCo pays no more than City/County debt service costs

Alternative “Fair Value” Test

Council use commercial real estate or risk premium approach as an alternate “fair value” test (instead of CBO’s proposed approach)

Arena lease payments do not provide a return comparable to what a commercial investor would earn assuming a 1% risk premium

Council could therefore conclude that the Arena does not meet the Fair Value test


Conclusions

I-91 is clear about requiring Fair Value

Fair Value calculation prescribed in I-91 is not directly applicable to this proposal

Council has several policy options.

Exempt Arena from I-91
Determine that I-91 does not apply
Apply alternate “tests” to determine whether Arena is
consistent with Fair Value requirement
More...
Posted by ChefJoe on February 3, 2014 at 4:50 PM · Report this
53
@Goldy et al

Yah, you won't find me arguing that the MLS (or the NHL) has anywhere near the market (or the mind-space) penetration as the "Big Three" in USA. I think it will inevitably, but I don't think we'll see it happen within a decade--we'll have to wait for the current generation to shuffle off and for demographic trends to follow their vectors. So on that matter the worst I can call you is a conservative square.

But as you note, NHL is in another tier, and the MLS is already rivaling (or beating, depending on how you measure) the NHL with respect to attendance and viewing. So if you are going to allude to the NHL in a "championships are good" argument for an arena, you probably ought to acknowledge the MLS.

Full disclosure: I will go to several NHL games a year should we get an arena and team. But I have no interest in NBA at all.
Posted by JayHoytt on February 3, 2014 at 5:05 PM · Report this
54
@8, every 15 years or so? HA!

Here in the other Washington, we gave the local baseball franchise a loan and lots of land (that we evicted people and businesses from) to build a stadium. I don't dislike the stadium. I *LOVE* baseball and currently participate in a season ticket share for the team. I love that the stadium is right on top of numerous public transit options and in the heart of the city, so I can go to games whenever I feel like it instead of arranging rides, parking, and other nonsense. And they've been more successful than we could have hoped for in the first few years. As such...

Because they were more successful than predicted, drawing larger crowds and larger revenues than imagined, and therefore paying back their city loan faster than anticipated, just 5 short years after that stadium opened for business, the owners went back to the city and demanded we build them a roof. They don't *need* a roof (we're not Seattle, it doesn't drizzle much here during the season), but, hey, they're making the city money, so they should have their every whim catered to, RIGHT? Despite the fact that making money for the city ALSO means making metric fucktons of money for the owners.

Meanwhile, unlike every other franchise and venue in the metro area, they refuse to keep the Metro (subway) open late for late weekday games. Chances are, putting the bond up to keep the trains running for an extra hour wouldn't cost them anything (the franchise/venue puts up the bond and only *pays* the difference between the bond and the actual fares collected, which means an actual $0 outlay for most events), but they still balk.

Don't do it. Sports are fun and winning teams are awesome. But not billions of dollars awesome or fun. Our experience indicates that even if you come to an agreement where everyone comes out a winner, the team will turn that into another opportunity to mooch without giving even a little back. Fortunately, our leaders told the team to bug off on their roof request, but that doesn't stop them from coming back again and again to ask for goodies far beyond the revenue boost, always under the threat of moving to a suburb that will cater to their whims.
More...
Posted by Ms. D on February 3, 2014 at 5:32 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 55
C'mon, Goldy, don't you understand? We only spend tax dollars on WHITE people. Baseball stadium, football stadium, golf courses, art museums, opera house, symphony hall, sculpture garden, play houses (oops! they went broke and didn't pay their bill! no problem). A basketball team is what THOSE PEOPLE want. Cut 'em off. Because, you know, schools.
Posted by kk in seattle on February 3, 2014 at 8:46 PM · Report this
56
Only if they build the fucking arena in south lake union with Paul Allen's money or by using imminent domain with his land. Fuck this bull shit tax public subsidization of private sports business. And fuck cannabalising the rail and port infrastructure that has built and sustained this entire region to do so. Allen already stole the funding earmarked to mitigate the last incursion (planned lander overpass after 2 current taxpayer financed stadiums) to do what (certainly not improve) mercer and his neighborhood. And I guess, fuck you too goldy. Now that you've revealed your true colors
Posted by Upchuck on February 3, 2014 at 8:52 PM · Report this
57
@55,
you left out parklets and playgrounds at the Seattle Center (or at least the money for an exploratory committee to consider such playgrounds for several years).
Posted by ChefJoe on February 3, 2014 at 8:57 PM · Report this
58
@52 the law says fair value for services. services have no cash basis. the cash on cash language thus only applies to certain things, not all things given to pro sports; also there is a cash basis for the 200 million it's 200 million cash and must have the I 91 return above the cost of borrowing. this loan has zero return above the cost of borrowing. the required return is in I 91 us treas rate, and is not infinite as Hansen says. the real estate tax break has no cash basis, and the cash on cash language does not apply to it. it's a service worth a few hundred million, he pays zero for it, thus does not pay fair value. the cash extended in the form of arena related tax credits has a cash basis: it's about 270 million over thirty years in biannual credits. since Hansen doesn't pay it back it's a straight GIFT of $270 million and thus isn't fair value under I 91.

Like most laws in hindsight you could write I 91 better but it includes the key language like services and rules like exclude cost of borrowing which makes it fairly easy to apply in this case. if there is doubt you look to the purpose which is clearly stated in the voter pamphlet: to stop tax breaks for pro sports and make them pay their own way. how are cash gifts of $270 million via tax breaks and exempting them from real estate tax not tax breaks? how is that making them pay their own way? look at it this way, if we WERE"NT giving them something for nothing, why would they need public money instead of going to a bank for a loan? (Answer: we are giving them $731 million in benefits they don't pay for; and a bank would not do that. they could easily pony up $200 million themselves or get a bank loan or raise it thru equity but then they don't get the nearly one billion dollars in public subsidies which they do no pay fair value for in this illegal MOU deal.)

More...
Posted by MOU is cash and tax subsidies on February 5, 2014 at 9:42 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 59
No. Fuck you, Goldy.

There's no law against people using their own money to buy land and put an arena on it. There. That's freedom and opportunity. Seattle has done everything it needs to for sportsball fans. Now go talk to the billionaires.

Makes me sick how one day you want to talk about the governemnt failing to pay for its basic obligation to provide education, and then the next day you're here talking about welfare for rich assholes.

No. Welfare. For. Rich. Assholes. Build whatever the fuck you like with your own fucking money.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on February 8, 2014 at 11:04 AM · Report this

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