I am at a total loss as to whether the latest plan to save the Sonics (live press conference on KING [ http://tinyurl.com/37d98n ], snazzy website: http://emeraldcitycenter.com/ ) is an elaborate and expensive April Fool’s joke, or a very poorly timed announcement for a serious proposal:
a new venue for NBA and NHL games with a RETRACTABLE ROOF?
…on the rendering they spelled “Agriculture” wrong =)
real, but might as well have been a joke. How would a private entity ever make a $1.1 BILLION arena pencil out? And in today’s gun-shy credit market? No way…
But can’t you just see yourself visiting the “Retail Store of the Future” ? I get all tingly just thinking about it.
… and other cheesy 1950’s era renderings of the year 2000. Perhaps they can get Disney to invest.
This plan has nothing to do with saving the Sonics. It was made clear, listening to the entirety of the press conference, that this has nothing to do with any, alternative plan for the current Sonic/Key Arena efforts. The NBA Commissioner has made it painfully clear that the Sonics as they exist now, are done in Seattle. No amount of renovations to Key Arena will ever be acceptable for an NBA team as long as David Stern is Commissioner. In the ultimate male posturing, David Stern won this one a while ago. I would never vote to spend public dollars on building a new arena. The door will be left open to someday have another NBA franchise and this state of the art facility will make us a contender. The sheer beauty and intelligence of this plan is that it is all private money. How “could” a private entity make this plan work? How “couldn’t” it work. This is real, get ready.
We have too many stadiums downtown. Have two events and traffic is a logjam. Have one at the north of downtown and one at the south and you can forget getting home. Phoenix has all of it’s stadiums concentrated in two square blocks, and downtown Phoenix is a ghost town at night. Likewise Detroit.
The D.C. area scatters it’s venues – a couple of spots downtown and others in the burbs WITH Metro service. The whole area benefits.
It would not be completely free to us. It’s land that could be used for something more productive with less traffic impact.
In any case, more power to’em if some folks want to foot the bill. Best we can do is sue to keep the name so these private owners can build a new team. Frankly, a clean sweep is overdue after all those years of mismanagement and terrible owners – remember how George Karl and Nate McMillan got treated?