We all know that the NBA is almost certainly going to vote that the Kings remain in Sacramento instead of moving to Seattle. As for the reasons why, we're all pretty clear that it had little to do with the Chris Hansen/Steve Ballmer group, whom NBA commissioner David Stern has referred to as the "perfect prototype for an NBA owner," and more to do with not wanting to take the franchise away from the people of Sacramento.
That didn't stop the Seattle Times from positing a...different, theory.
The fundamental flaw in the proposal was to put a professional sports and entertainment arena in Seattle's Sodo District, which represented a threat to the city's industrial zone and the economic engine that is the Port of Seattle. Basketball will return and thrive here when the focus is on the sport and not using the franchise as a lever for real-estate development.
By all accounts, the placement of the SoDo arena had nothing to do with the NBA's decision. They would have made the same decision had the arena been planned for Bellevue or U-District or even if we had just said we'll renovate KeyArena.
Yes, there are major concerns from Port of Seattle folks and others about the logistics that would go into mixing arena traffic and industrial traffic. And that's a fight that is still ongoing. But to imply the reason the NBA is voting against Seattle is because of the placement of the arena is disingenuous at best.
The editorial then goes on to say that a deal that doesn't include public money will be more enticing to the NBA, which is laughable considering that Sacramento just won the right to keep the Kings on the back of a deal that is more publicly-funded than the Seattle deal.
Not to mention that 61% of all money put into 186 NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL stadiums built between 1909 and 2012 has been public funds. And even with that said, the deal presented by Chris Hansen & his team kept public funding as a minimum and ensured that any defaults would be the responsibility of the private investors. The chances there will ever be a better arena deal for any city, let alone Seattle, are minimal.
The Seattle Times has problems with Chris Hansen's SoDo Arena proposal, which is fine. But to imply that those problems had anything to do with the NBA voting for Sacramento is deceitful.
· Editorial: Bring Sonics back in a different location without public money [Seattle Times]
· David Stern: Seattle would-be NBA owners the 'perfect prototype' [PSBJ]
· Chris Hansen personally guarantees Sodo arena financing [SeattlePI]
· Sacramento Kings Staying Put, SoDo Arena Plans On Hold [Curbed Seattle]