Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lawmaker drafts plan to bring NBA, NHL to new Seattle arena | Seattle

It will be interesting to see which politicians get out in front and support, which line up to follow, and if any pose genuine opposition. Mike Hope, a Republican, is running for Snohomish County Executive. Don't expect a bunch of Democrats to drop their own campaigns for re-election or support for other candidates to pick up this cause before the November elections are over. I have not seen the draft legislation yet, when I do I will post my thoughts here and/or at the Arena Solution website. To connect with the effort go to
Representative Mike Hope (R, Lake Stevens) has drafted legislation that will fund a new arena. He believes it will not only bring an NBA team to Seattle, but a professional hockey team as well. . . . Brian Robinson, co-founder of the organization Save our Sonics, is on a task force with Hope aiming to bring the NBA back to Seattle, but in a new venue. "It's affected a lot of people who used to watch these games with their kids," said Robinson. "The fact that we could see politicians actually get something done would bring a lot of excitement to a lot of people." The proposed legislation would require local and visiting professional athletes in the NBA, NFL and MLB to pay a fee for every game they play in Seattle. He says a lot of other cities already have similar laws built into their tax revenue. Hope says it would levy $140 million towards a new sports arena. He's also proposing specialty license plates for Sonics fans, generating another $10 million for bonds.

Michael J. Baker
Seattle, Wa

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Anonymous said...

What happened to David Frokt (D-Seattle)? I thought he and Hope were going to co-sponsor this bill to make it truly bi-partisan. Did key members of Seattle's delegation (or the Chopper himself) shake him down? I got a bad feeling about this......

Peter said...

frockt is still working with hope. he was on the task force:

i guess until we have a bill there won't be any sponsors. like baker says, until the elections are over there probably won't be alot of democrats just dropping what they are doing.

"I got a bad feeling about this......"

you wanna know who proposed an admendment last year or so that could in fact fund an arena: rodney tom, stadium foe. he's more in line with where chopp is in my opinion. he had the idea for the "jock fee" in the first place. his admendent to a bill in the past would have put a fee on athletes and the money would go to the PFD that was created by the convention center bill. just sayin, this will take time. we don't even know who (if anybody) on the private sector will step up. if there is little opposition then i would expect a vote at least by the legislature.

Peter said...

have user fees been given up on as a potential funding source? it seems to me that if they put a fee on tickets, merchandise and parking (maybe even concessions) we could raise a whole lot more. i also heard somewhere(i don't remember where) that don levin (remember him?) was gonna meet with the task force in august. i wonder what came of that? when the tacoma dome stuff broke, i was a little doubtful but it was mentioned that investor herb simon was part of the business side of the tdome stuff. isn't he the guy who owns basically half the malls in the country? (simon malls?) if so and he is interested in another location we may just have an alternative in case ballmer bows out for good.

Peter said...

stuff about simon here:

this article also says that former blazers gm steve patterson is involved with the tacoma dome stuff and he told the tacoma facilites director that it has been confirmed that if one league puts a team in tacoma both leagues will. anybody have any thoughts on patterson? is he a credible source? i don't have much hope for tacoma either, just that we shouldn't underestimate them. if no one else will build an arena nothing would surprise me.

Mr Baker said...

I sent Frokt a few months ago copies of the bills and amendments that could conceivably lead to a bill, including the Rodney Tom amendment, as well as his tax bill for a year or two earlier that would have done all this. The problem with Tom's senate bill a few years ago was it was constructed as an income tax.

Anyway, we should see this slowly pick up steam through October/November, and then it will get some talk during the Special Session, a bill will likely get pre-filed and shopped around.
I like its chances.

Mr Baker said...

This is what I have.

SB 5834, governor signs this on Wednesday, 25% of King County lodging tax potentially available in 2021
Bill home:
HB 1997, failed in Senate WM committee when Hatfield and Tom walked out, recalled to House Rules in Special Session (still there). "new stadium" financing was eliminated as a possible expenditure, Hasegawa committee amendment
Bill home:

SB 5958, failed on the Senate Floor, 24 votes, not a constitutional majority (everybody took the hint and passed SB 5934)
Bill home:

2009 - 2010
HB 2912, passed the House, made it to the Senate floor where Rodney Tom sandbagged the bill with 12 floor amendments, including #316 a 10% B&O Jock Tax.
Ross Hunter said this bill was overly prescriptive.
Bill home:

SB 6116, a less prescriptive version of HB 2912. This had the most support of all of the stadium bills in testimony, but never got out of the Senate.
Bill home:

SB 6661, similar to SB 6116, referred to Economic Trade and Innovation
Bill home:

SB 6051, lodging tax only, pretty much the 2009 version of SB 5834 (did not include the curve out for workforce housing, died in House Rules committee).
Bill home:
House companion bill, HB 2051

2007 - 2008
SB 5986, the Renton arena, Rodney Tom put 15 floor amendments on this bill.
Bill home:
Companion bill, HB 2264, no action, one of the sponsors was Fred Jarrett

SB 6638, extended the arts funding temporarily, passed into law.
Bill home:

EHSB 2765, created the Local Financing Options for King County Task Force after the legislature fails to pass the Key Arena remodel bill.

Task Force failed to reach consensus on a bill.

HB 2401 a Professional Athlete Fee ($50 each) to pay for law enforcement. Bill went nowhere.

SB 5891, listed below, jock tax.

Sorry about the delay getting back to you. 

I think you might be looking for SB 5891?

SB 5891 was Rodney Tom's athlete tax bill. Unfortunately, it was written as an "income" tax.

Or, were you looking for a specific arena bill?

Mr Baker said...

That's all public info I raked together and sent.

If I had not worked so much overtime this summer I was going to attempt to write my own bill just to see if I could. Now I will not have to.

We should get some kind of rollout before the Soecial Session.

Anonymous said...

You're right about T-town Peter. I live there and I'm somewhat (really) dubious about the T-dome being a potential home for the NBA/NHL. But when you look at the transportation infrastructure and parking already in place it already has a jump-start anything that in is in the conception process being done in the Seattle area. That being said Seattle is still my personal preference.

hughc5 said...

do you think there is anything to this story?

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking no, for one it's Bleacher Report, which says it all right there. Secondly, this is Fred Brown and Dave Bean's old idea from '08 which was very well timed to be presented on April Fools Day that year. Yeah, anyway, as far as I know (admittedly not much) the Port of Seattle's lease with Hangin doesn't expire until 2025 with incentives to extend beyond that. Also factor in the tunnel which wont be completed until 2016 at the earliest make that area lightly regarded until 2017 which fits right into SC contributor Sofa King's estimate of 2018 actually. Getting back to Brown and Bean though, their idea wasn't all that original to begin with anyway. Real Estate developers Nitze & Stagen floated the idea to former mayors Schell then Nickels and they didn't bite. At the time, the lease to Hangin was supposed expire circa '08 which included a new arena at Pier 46 along with some other cool developments, but suffice to say, it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

RIP Sonics Central. Crap!

Anonymous said...

Just in case anyone was curious about Nitze Stagen development plan for Pier 46.

There used to be a link to a very detailed website on the plan for condos, a cruise ship port, 5-star hotel, and an arena, but it looks like it has been taken down.

Dick Tate said...

"RIP Sonics Central."

As predicted. When Brian didn't log on to say anything about this plan, I knew the time was short.

hughc5 said...

it would be pretty sweet if this plan was legit and not just crap just thrown at a wall. anyway i think this is the link your talking about. its on there website.

Anonymous said...

It was legit. The Port wasn't going for it. They wanted to keep Hangin happy. And in hindsight it was a pragmatic and wise choice considering the real estate debacle of '08.

hughc5 said...

well, maybe it can be resurrected but i doubt. hopefully something gets done somewhere. it makes me sick to think that seattle cant get it head out and that tacoma might be our saving grace. ouch

Peter said...

"The proposed legislation would require local and visiting professional athletes in the NBA, NFL and MLB to pay a fee for every game they play in Seattle"

why not include the NHL? if the NHL team is going to play in the new arena, shouldnt those players pay too? personally i think MLS players should pay also. and if MLB and NFL players pay the fee also, the m's and hawks better have access to that tax later for renovations. actually i think the better way to do it would be impose the athlete fee and whatever else fees, and dump that money into a PFD that can build stadiums and arenas. that way we wouldnt have to go through so many stadium fights. it would be a permanant solution.

JAS said...

SC is back up now.

Mr Baker said...

The bleacher report is a rehash of a dead idea using expired taxes that would take 2/3 majority vote in the state legislature to pass.

Peter said...

so no new news on the task force?