Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seattle Times: News: City approached about basketball arena near Safeco Field

Seattle city officials have been approached by a private group looking to build a basketball arena in the Sodo District near Safeco Field in the hopes of attracting an NBA franchise, according to two sources who have been briefed on the talks.
. . .
McGinn's office confirmed Friday night that it is examining an "opportunity," but declined to provide specific information.
. . .
"Our office has had many enthusiastic overtures concerning the return of an NBA franchise to Seattle," the statement said. "Some of these offers have been serious. Some have not been serious. And the current speculation is over one of these proposals. We are looking at this opportunity, examining its specifics and how it fits our city. At this point, we have not received a concrete offer."

The statement added: "When we do reach that point, the City Council will be our first step in moving forward and then there will be an open process to evaluate that offer before we move forward. We would welcome a serious commitment from the NBA to re-establish a franchise with responsible ownership, to our community."
. . .
The group behind the Sodo effort is separate from a recently publicized campaign being led by longtime Sonics fan Brian Robinson and his organization, Arena Solution, to secure a new arena and an NBA team.

Among those involved in the Sodo plan is Wally Walker, the former Seattle Sonics player and team executive, the sources said. . .
Seattle Times: News: City approached about basketball arena near Safeco Field


The effort lead by Brian Robinson is a much broader effort, uses a different approach, and isn't actually in competition with the SODO effort.

The television report last Thursday was accurate:
“Everywhere I go people want it.  If you talk to contractors, plumbers, electricians, they want it. If you go to the Bellevue Athletic Club, people want it.  If you go to Rainier Beach HS, people want it.”

The group “Arena Solution” – which he calls a “group of people who want to talk about solving this critical problem” - lists an impressive collection of names.  Former Sonics CEO Bob Whitsitt and local developer Craig Kinzer are part of the group.

“There are a number of people both private and public trying to make this work,” says Kinzer, who helped broker the deal for Benaroya Hall, Safeco Field, and the Children’s Hospital expansion, among others. 
“Let’s make this more transparent,” says the CEO of Kinzer Real Estate Services.  “We’re much further along than people realize.”

Kinzer, also a former Sonics minority owner, says there are “three or four” spots which have been seriously considered for an arena. 
“I’m helping (Arena Solution) talk with all the jurisdictions and let them each know the things they can do.”
KING5.com: Group of civic, business leaders attempt 'Arena Solution'

The facts are, there is more than 1 group interested in building an arena, more than 1 site is a prospective site. What ArenaSolution.org is attempting to do is to perform a civic action, how can they help make an arena happen? Reaching out to these different groups and people isn't quite the same as leading a group of potential team owners that want to figure out an arena solution for their specific purposes.

ArenaSolution.org is interested in working with any and all potential owners of teams, facilities, leaders public and private.
ArenaSolution.org

I support the efforts of ArenaSolution.org.

The more, the merrier.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Sent from my iPhone
Visit me here:
http://ManyWordsForRain.blogspot.com

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really like the SODO concept. Don't like that Hizzoner and Licata have rights of first refusal on this prospective deal. This is probably the best opportunity for Seattle or else Bellevue will get it.

Anonymous said...

Really like the SODO concept. Don't like that Hizzoner and Licata have rights of first refusal on this prospective deal. This is probably the best opportunity for Seattle or else Bellevue will get it.

hughc5 said...

it says the land has been purchased so am i reading in to much cause to me it sounds like its pretty close to likely to be done if the land has been purchased already. hopefully.

Anonymous said...

Well hold on there....One owner wasn't willing to sell last I read. And that one holdout could possibly kill the deal. It's encouraging but we've been through this before.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016980415_arena10m.html

hughc5 said...

your right i forgot that part. seems to me like that might just be someone trying to play hardball and that eventually they'll sell. either way having multiple groups and multiple sites is gonna push someone to get something done before the other.

Anonymous said...

One more thing regarding the Sodo story is that it's framed solely as a "basketball arena". As opposed to a multi-purpose sports/entertainment facility. Nothing like spooling up the haters in "Pesto City".

Anonymous said...

Make that "Indoor, multi-purpose, sports/entertainment facility.

bmac said...

where do you get licata has right of first refusal. luckily theres more than two council members

Anonymous said...

I'm saying (facetiously) that Licata and his fellow nimcompoops on the city council would vote against this simply because McSchwinn is for it. Also, there is the "I can't believe it's not pencilling out" white elephant arena in Seattle Center to be considered which could also torpedo it. But I'm getting way ahead of myself. Let's see what happens with this developer and if they can get this last owner will sell.

Peter said...

someone posted on SC that 3 acres south of safeco have been bought for $21 million by a San Francisco company. is 3 acres even enough for an arena? this could be the group interested in the arena, but it also could be another group and just a coincendence. with regards to the city council and key arena, key arena is probably dead no matter what happens. if seattle balks, it sounds like bellevue will get it. either way, key arena is dead. from the city's viewpoint, they might as well keep the entertainment dollars in seattle rather than having bellevue get them. it makes sense. mcginn has said that he dosent want an arena in bellevue. the fact that he has been working with this group probably was a response to that. just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

You're right Peter. Three acres is not large enough but the businesses across Occidental would most likely have to be bought out as well, if they haven't already. They also fall into what was referenced in the ST article as the "Stadium Transition Overlay District".

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/zoom/html/2016984147.html

hughc5 said...

how much more land would be needed? there is already parking down there so i dont think you would need alot more. would you?

Mr Baker said...

If it is break even, or better, I think the mayor and the city council approve.
If the city is a partner then you get into eminent domain, that's how you clear a block for Safeco Field.

The bigger question is the train track right of way. Do they buy the air space over the tracks and build up?

Building it there would solve a major issue with funding the construction of parking.

There are some open questions, but they need to be answered before somebody else builds an arena on the east side.

hughc5 said...

exactly.. if seattle doesnt jump on this bellevue will get something done eventually. i think this is seattles best bet to do something before bellevue has a shot. better jump on it quick i say

Peter said...

it seems like this land deal would be it. the land deal that was mentioned in the king5 article could be another land deal, but i doubt it. the k5 article said that there was land purchased, but at least one business owner has declined to sell. when i heard of that i thought that maybe some of the land was bought now and maybe the efforts with the city were maybe to use emminent domain to get the land or something. a small purchase now and later having the city take the land would make sense. i wouldn't be too worried if the group was from SF. don levin is from chicago, and he is still interested in buying us a nhl team, that same report said. people on SC make sense though. mcginn wants to help w/ financing, but what about 1-91? i know van dyk was as least a little supportive of the ballmer deal, but my big fear is that even if it is a fair deal with a lot of private $ there will be some kind of initiative to block the arena or a recall of mcginn or something.

Anonymous said...

I'm only speculating (aren't we all?) at this point but if you were to buy out the businesses between Occidental and 1st Ave you'd have enough space for an arena and wouldn't necessarily have to build over the train tracks to the east. I think a 20,000- arena can fit in that footprint relatively easy. But what do I know? I just hope it happens.

Peter said...

i just don't see there being 2 land deals in the same area. it could be. the k5 reported land deal is one, but two? i'm not sure. is there even enough land to have two land deals of that size? someone mentioned on SC that wally used to work in SF. is that true? he is behind the sodo effort but that isn't necessairly enough to link that effort to the land purchase. you are right. i'm kinda worried about licata and CVD though. i hope the council supports the effort and there isn't a big initiative to block the arena or recall mcginn.

Peter said...

i'm back on SC now.

Peter said...

i'm back on SC now.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't inferring that there are two deals. Just speculating....again but the buyers of the warehouses east of Occidental most likely want to buy the land west of it to 1st Avenue. Since there are businesses there, what Baker referred to as Immeninent Domain could apply here, but I think we're getting way ahead of ourselves. But I'd like to see it happen just like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

...And all of that land falls into the "Stadium Transition Overlay Plan".

Peter said...

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/poll/index.html?poll_id=6892391&ana=e_du_pub

please vote in this poll. "will seattle get another NBA team?"

just make sure "i'm over it" goes down. hard. i can't post this on SC it says it is in moderation. so if someone else who can can post it it would be cool.

Peter said...

so far:

52% yes, 18% no, 30% "over it"

Peter said...

i think the best way to get this done is to pass the athlete fee,(hope just updated the progress on twitter) and then couldn't the city impose user fees on their own? if i recall one quarter of the ballmer plan for the key was to have user fees imposed by the city. if there was a way better arena than a key redo with 2 teams instead of 1, wouldn't the potential be there to raise a whole lot more through user fees? i think you get enough to meet the sodo group in the middle through these sources, and it would be a whole lot easier to get through the city council.

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