Thursday, September 21, 2017

Public Meeting on KeyArena Proposal EIS, don't be surprised by the return of SoDo

Public Meeting on KeyArena Proposal
What should go into the EIS?
How about a preferred location at Seattle Center for a rebuilt KeyArena, and a second action alternative with SoDo for a new arena, or a no build alternative.

Here was the scoping comment from 9/8/2017 from the city:
The EIS will evaluate the No Action alternative, as required by SEPA, and two action alternatives.

10 days later they need 3 options, OVG's plan, another action alternative (that now excludes claiming to be able to completely teardown a landmark, KeyArena) so a reasonable action alternative might just be SoDo. "Bust" really is a no-action alternative for an arena.

Public Meeting on KeyArena Proposal

-Rescheduled for September 28
The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) has received a proposal from the Oak View Group to allow the renovation of Seattle Center Arena (KeyArena). The project, filed under application #3029061, includes a new entry atrium, below-ground expansion for additional seating and circulation, and an underground loading dock and vehicular tunnel. Parking for 450 vehicles will be provided below ground. The scale of this proposal requires the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to inform the permit review process and eventual decision by the department.
The first step in compiling an EIS is soliciting public input to determine the range of topics to be reviewed within the environmental document. This process is known as scoping. SDCI has identified the following areas for discussion in the EIS: traffic and transportation; historic preservation (landmarks and archeological resources); light and glare; noise; land use; and public services and facilities (recreation).
A public meeting to obtain comments on the scope of the EIS, design alternatives, impacts, mitigation measures, and other approvals that may be required was originally scheduled for Thursday, September 21 and Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Those meetings have been cancelled and rescheduled.
The rescheduled meeting is set for:
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Seattle Center Armory Loft 2
(305 Harrison Street)
  • Open House: 6:30 p.m.
  • Public Comments: 7:00 p.m.
Written comments on the proposal, including the scope of the EIS, will be accepted through October 6, 2017.  Comments should be emailed to: Comments may also be mailed to:
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124
Commenters who provide an email or physical address will be sent notices of future meetings and hearings. They will also be sent notice of the SDCI decision with information on the appeal process. Public comments and related project material will be posted to SDCI's Permit and Property Records web page.
Questions about the meeting may be directed to:
John Shaw
SDCI Land Use Planner
(206) 684-5837

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Seattle doesn't have anything for the NBA to relocate a team to

I've been saying this for quite some time, there are owners that would leave a billion dollars behind if they sold their teams if relocation wasn't an option.
They've noticed.

Some teams will not to operate profitably where they are.
They've noticed.

Will Seattle choose a KeyArena remodel, taking that building away for 4 years?

Will the solutions they seek not include Seattle because the city is choosing to not green-light SoDo now, and KeyArena approval and construction not complete for years? 

A confidential report shows nearly half the NBA lost money last season. Now what?
"National revenues drive up the cap, but local revenues are needed to keep up with player salaries," one owner explained to ESPN. "If a team can't generate enough local revenues, they lose money."

Good luck, Seattle City Council, it's all on you.

(Image KOMO)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Showing yourselves out

Today, the Seattle City Council started down a path to agreeing to develop a MOU with OVG, which pretty much says FU to the NBA anytime soon. The City has been down this path before and repeatedly failed, peak failure was inviting the Sonics to leave over KeyArena remodeling proposals that were a lot like the one they are attempting to construct.

I was both saddened and amused that Councilmember Rob Johnson asked Ed Murray appointed Director of Economic Development Brian Surratt a clarifying question, that the MOU is a framework but the council will get to vote later on the final plan, as well as many of its major pieces, just like the SODO MOU 5 years ago.

I have much less confidence in Tim Leiweke than I do Chris Hansen, but the City has bought the bullshit and is going to talk themselves into gifting city revenue while pretending that a privately funded arena proposal exists.
BTW, pretending something better doesn't exist isn't particularly satisfying.

If the City ever greenlights something, I'll recognize it. For now, I'll take the NBA’s position, that they still have nothing, and what they had they drove away in 2008.

Today, it became less likely that the NBA will return to Seattle anytime soon. OVG has been driving off Sonics fans since they got here. It's pretty weird to see become more interested in having OVG in town than the Sonics. I will not go there, and say disengage from those that do.

On to other hobbies.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Scare tactics greet Seattle sports fans

A day of hollow promises from OVG, accused child abuser Ed Murray resigning as mayor, Sonics Rising scares its readers with a false sense of choice based on parroting Tim Leiweke's fanciful talking points.

That's the big celebration of OVG's plan for a plan for a plan based largely on things they don't control finally sent to Seattle City Council.

"NOTHING - Sonics Rising"

OVG has nothing now, and will not have anything that resembles an actual approval from the city for quite a while, more than a year, maybe a couple years, maybe the council changes its mind again. But gosh, cramming readers with a false choice immediacy in an attempting to cow people toward a decision that could not possibly be acted on now. For KeyArena, there is now, not this year, maybe not next year. They don't know, pretending the aspirational date of a lightly invested developer is anything close to a fact is foolishness.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Seattle Arena Update | The Fabulous Peltoncast

It still lives in part for Kevin Pelton's podcast.

Listen to the end regarding the Grizz.

Listen up!

Seattle Arena Update

A special Peltoncast breaks down Thursday's proposal from the Sodo Arena group to renovate KeyArena into a trio of smaller music venues, the statement by the Seattle Office of Economic Development saying the offer came too late and why the City Council — not the OED — will control the decision between the Sodo proposal and Oak View Group's offer to renovate KeyArena into an NBA/NHL arena.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Russell Wilson talks about the latest SoDo arena and KeyArena efforts

Aaron Levine (@AaronQ13Fox)
Here is @Seahawks QB and @sonicsarena investor @DangeRussWilson, talking about their alternative #KeyArena proposal. #NBA #NHL #Seattle

Download the Twitter app

Friday, August 25, 2017

OVG doesn't sound opposed to a SoDo street vacation

On OVG's web page, they state what they believe, an arena must be built first before it would attract a sports franchise. They would have to get all of their approvals from the city and then spend 20 to 24 months building an arena. 

If they really believe this then a conditional street vacation in SoDo, that couldn't begin arena construction without first securing a sports franchise, would not attract the NHL or NBA.
So, if it isn't going to be successful then why is the mayor and council halting progress on the street vacation?

An excuse I heard somewhere was that the city's efforts are working on KeyArena. But how can that be? The MOU states that Chris Hansen is paying the fees for his project. If they need more people, hire them. If been a staff analyst, their excuse is horseshit.
The city has budget approval from Hansen or it doesn't. The city needs to explain that in the budget. I look forward to that accounting.

What are they afraid of?

"Will a music-first approach to building an arena impact the ability to attract an NHL or NBA team? 
No. OVG's approach of building a world-class music, sports and entertainment venue will provide the best chance of attracting NBA and NHL teams. History supports our belief that the NBA or the NHL will come when a suitable arena is built. The only way to privately finance an arena without a team is to have a robust music and entertainment calendar. If we attract teams, we will adjust the music programming to accommodate the Storm, NBA and NHL schedules before booking other events to ensure teams can be competitive."

Is Ed Murray breaking the MOU with Chris Hansen?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

KING5: KeyArena, landmark status fallout

Here's twist to the latestest effort to remodel KeyArena.
But Lois Maag, a spokesperson for the Department of Neighborhoods, shed some light on how the process would work moving forward.
"The project team (in this case OVG) would pursue proposed alterations through the Certificate of Approval process," she wrote via email, in regards to whether Oak View Group would have to preserve the garage. "The applicant can apply for a Certificate of Approval to alter or demolish the building, following the procedures in the Landmarks Ordinance. Before pursuing that option, the staff would urge them to explore alternatives to demolition and discuss them with the Landmarks Board."
What's next for proposed KeyArena renovation after landmark designation? via @KING5Seattle

A process OVG did not anticipate. KeyArena has already been gutted and the floor lowered. The garage is an interesting problem. Can they find another path into the arena? That's a big ask. Relocating the garage and/of its contents to another location would be a challenge.
Ok, good luck.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Seattle Preservation Board designates KeyArena, Bressi Garage, as Landmarks

KING5's Chris Daniels reports on the potential benefits and complications the landmark designation means.
KeyArena was a forgone conclusion years ago, but the garage was in question.
What was going to be modern use with OVG controlling the property, (are they paying for that?), has taken a turn to 1923.

It's most likely the city will gloss over this by claiming they will figure it out after committing to the project, like they have with everything else (public cost, transportation, revenue splits, did I mention transportation?).

Chris Daniels:

The original Oak View Group proposal has called for tearing down the Bressi Garage, which was built in 1923, for use as a staging area and potential future office space, as well as an entry point for a subterranean tunnel to a loading dock on the south end of the new facility.  The City's Economic Development office offered it up in the original request for proposals for renovation of KeyArena.

However, the 11-member Preservation Board felt, after a tour Monday, that the building has an important place in Seattle history.  It voted to preserve the walls of the brick building, interior trusses, and deck.  Board members argued that it deserved designation because it "it is associated in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political or economic heritage of the community, city, state, or nation" and "it embodies the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style, or period, or a method of construction."

Historic Preservation does not necessarily rule out renovation, but the designation triggers a "controls and incentives" phase of development.  Erin Doherty, who is the coordinator the Landmarks Board, said after the meeting that the Bressi ruling triggers a wide variety of possibilities, but the design and how the building is treated within it, will be a factor.  The designation could also trigger a negotiation or settlement with Pottery Northwest or potentially a new plan for the tunnel and staging area.  It may also make the city eligible for further historic tax credits.  On Monday, OVG Chair Tim Leiweke, Director of Special Project Lance Lopes, and potential NHL investor David Bonderman were all seen at City Hall meeting with council members.

Seattle Preservation Board landmarks KeyArena, Bressi Garage

Monday, July 31, 2017's David Aldridge column on Seattle's NBA options

I've thought this for a few years, before Chris Hansen appeared, that relocation of an existing team was the most likely path to the NBA returning to the Seattle market.
Is it better for the owners to split off a portion of ongoing revenues for one time cash? Sure, but split 30 ways it dilutes quickly, and does nothing for the overall health of the league.
Or, is it better that a franchise that cannot keep up with inflating value and costs of an NBA team be allowed to turn a profit from sale, and relocate that team to a viable market.

I think some owner will not be denied a half billion dollar profit that may only be possible if the team relocates to Seattle.

This is a business.
"I believe Seattle should have the first shot," one owner said, on condition of anonymity. "I think a move is more likely than expansion, but right now, neither looks likely."
A second owner said Seattle " is a great market, especially for the NBA," but echoed Silver's sentiments.
"I agree with you there are some markets that would be great addition to the NBA but in terms of expansion, I think we need 30 solid teams first," the second owner said. "If there are teams that are repeatedly losing money every year even after revenue sharing, we must consider moving existing teams to those markets first. Then, once all teams are healthy and making a profit, we can perhaps discuss expansion -- but not until then."
Seattle still has solid shot at NBA return, but don't expect it to happen anytime soon -

Watch those franchise values.
[edited below, text below added 8/4/2017]
I've read most little bits of information that might be, could be, may be, something for way too long, but this is unusually thorough, posted on, and anonimous source owners. That's a bit different.
They lay out their path to making a decision for Seattle or not, and in what order.
The question is, how long do those two paths take?
But I take it that they are on that path now, or why bother talking? Maybe we get a relocated team, or an expansion team, or nothing, in that order.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Adam Silver inevitable NBA expands, Returning to Seattle on the list ofcities

Here is about a minute of the video.
Silvers says it's inevitable that the league returns to look at it, that Seattle is way up on the list of cities, and he doesn't believe in skill 
"We haven't made any commitments to Seattle," said Bettman. "In fact, I've been telling everyone in the process that they should build their building with an understanding that there may not be an NHL team there.
"We're not making any commitments to expand. We're not planning on moving anybody. And to the extent people are winking and nodding that they're getting a team, they're really getting ahead of themselves."
For some reason I feel like Silver's last comment was more encouraging than Garry Betman's last comment on the arena solution in Seattle.

Silver seems to indicate he's more ready now but is looking at timing.

"I think it's just a question of when the right time is to seriously start thinking about expansion."

I precursor to this position might best be heard here, from November 2016. Silver listed out some step to get to the point of exploring expansion.
It's the hacks that pay attention on media day for another sport. Those folks will wander off to football, and that can't happen soon enough.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Rockets Sale Could Be Cautionary tail for KeyArena

It's a cautionary tail about somebody that had exclusive control of an arena and how they kept a sports franchise from being considered as a destination.

Mike Baker
Arena ownership isn't a charity, or public works project.
Do I think Tim Leweike would put his interests ahead of the NBA returning?
Welcome to capitalism.
The City of Seattle MUST insist on a mechanism, financial or otherwise, that they control to best ensure the outcome of the NBAreturning to Seattle.
I want him bound to that obligation even if he doesn't have a NBA partner right now.
Assurances are never going to be enough to satisfy this requirement for me.
He bought the team in 1993 for $85 million. Twenty-four years later, the Rockets are worth $1.65 billion. That’s remarkable.
For the NHL, though, his stepping back from the sports world could be the catalyst that makes it possible for hockey to return to the fourth-largest U.S. city.

Also, the Rockets are worth $1.65b because of the artificial exclusivity. Why would the KeyArena hockey partners want to split revenues with the NBA when they, like the Rockets, could create that artificial exclusivity, driving up their revenues and franchise value, a franchise they made Lewekei a partner so his priorities were aligned with their$. That just says the Sonics would not be welcomed back.
This isn't a day one problem. This grows over time as they look for increased profits.
Again, welcome to capitalism, and worse, a monopoly of public property by a private corporation in direct conflict with the desires of the community that is supposed to benefit from their shared asset, certainly as much as anybody in the OVG corporation feels entitled to increased profits.

It is, in fact, the council's responsibility to act in the public's interest, don't say you want the Sonics back and then do as little as possible to ensure that in the KeyArena MOU.

They have no interest in the NBA as OVG is structured.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The KeyArena shit show: Sonics Rising version

This isn't any more surprising than me stepping away from it, is it?

Anyway, their readers are asking questions and Sonics Rising is having to defend something they are denying exists, cognitive dissonance.

There's this list. Then there was a defensive posture.
Members of the Arena Community Advisory Group include:
  • Monty Anderson – Executive Secretary, Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council
  • John Barr – NHL to Seattle 
  • Robert Cardona – Uptown Alliance 
  • Andrea Caupain – Chief Executive Officer, Centerstone 
  • Brian Curry – 10 Mercer Restaurant and Seattle Center Advisory Commission member
  • Deborah Frausto – Uptown Alliance 
  • Ollie Garrett – President, Tabor 100 
  • Nicole Grant – Executive Secretary, Martin Luther King County Labor Council 
  • Mike McQuaid – South Lake Union Community Council 
  • Brian Robinson – Founder, Sonics Rising 
  • Sarah Wilke – Executive Director, Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) 
  • Jane Zalutsky – Executive Director, Seattle Center Foundation

My overall feeling is that they really do believe what they are saying, I believe them, but it's pretty obvious that they are being used to legitimize Ed Murray cramming KeyArena down everybody's throats before he leaves office. He doesn't have a political future and is absolutely burning these very good people at Sonics Rising.
So, I showed myself out.
Maybe I'm wrong, but Ed Murray has been clear in his arena preference, and how he governs.
That's exactly how I felt when I was invited to a couple off the record meetings with Brian Surratt a few months ago.
IMO, Here is the Ed Murray's fucking of the fans. It is in full bloom.

City Councilmembers will not accept a KeyArena MOU without a transportation plan

There isn't a majority without an actual transportation plan. The city will have had more than a year to understand the traffic issues and probably should now be negotiating mitigation positions with that information. A plan for a transportation plan isn't enough for at least two councilmembers, and it didn't sound like they were alone in that thought.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

From The Stranger, Guest Editorial: Michael Maddox says "Mayor Murray, You Should Resign"

It is remarkable, the silence, except from those that are outspoken. When news comes out about Ed Murray nobody touches it unless it's to demand change. It's a question of power.
The silence, Ed, says you don't have support, but you do have opposition to you making you happy at all costs.

Here is part of an guest editorial from Michael Maddox. 
I encourage you to read the entire request that Murray resign as Mayor of Seattle.

Step down.
The minute your legacy became more important than the well-being of children in abusive homes, you should have questioned your motives. At least, that's what I believe. Personally, I question myself all the time, and if I'm going in a direction of what's best for me winning out over what's best for the community, I try to roll back a bit and re-center myself. My experience in life—not the best childhood, not the best adolescence—is what shaped my personal desire to do good things—but those must be for the community, and designed to ensure more kids have better lives than I did. 
The sadness that I have from your actions, from seeing someone that I looked up to (with some similarities in political paths) is real. But the anger is also real. Your combative approach, and continued damage that your actions are doing to me as a survivor, and to others in our community, is abhorrent. They are disappointing. 
I know that you have stated that you will not resign. That you are adamant on finishing your term. So much "I" in your statements. But I'm not sure it's worth it. I'm not convinced that the reminder that men "get away with it," particularly men in power, is worth it. The staff of our city are amazing. We have outstanding department heads. Our city will be fine with someone else at the helm for the remainder of the year. In fact, it may be better—losing the cloud hanging over City Hall. 
I don't expect that you will listen - or even read to this point - but I agree with Council Member Lorena González. It's time to resign. To leave what dignity with the office is left, and take what legacy you can still claim, without doing further damage to the city, or to your legacy. It is time. 
All of my Best,
Michael Maddux is a litigation paralegal, and was a Seattle City Council candidate in 2015. He managed the 2016 Seattle Housing Levy campaign, and has served on the Parks Levy Oversight and Parks Legacy committees. He writes regularly at his blog,

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

Follow me here: @TweetMrBaker

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tweet by Mike Baker ✌️Seattle mayoral debate.

Mike Baker ✌️ (@TweetMrBaker)
Too many sidesteps for Durkan.
Hasagawa performed well, not sure how he stands out.
McGinn - experience
Moon is over her head. #SEAMayor

Mike Baker ✌️ (@TweetMrBaker)
Farrell was very responsive, had answers about approach.
Oliver really did a good job discussing different aspects of a subject. 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Interpol - Not Even Jail - Live at Eurockeennes Festival, Belfort, Franc...

I pretend like no one elseTo try to control myselfI'm subtle like a lion's cageSuch a cautious displayRemember take hold of your time hereGive some meanings to the meansTo your endNot even jail

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ed Murray is campaigning, Today's Endorsement that wasn't

Here is what is burning Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. He hates Mike McGinn so much that he had a press conference about it. Jenny Durkan was there as the future version of Ed Murray.

A reported poll last week showedMurray's predecessor Mike McGinn with a slight lead even though Durkan had already assumed Murray's policies.

Poll makes clear: Seattle mayor's race is tight | KUOW News and Information

SeattleWeekly pretty much called it right.
It seemed at times that Murray's endorsement was more about blocking McGinn's path to victory than opening up Durkan's. Asked whether he had considered endorsing Jessyn Farrell, Murray said he respected Farrell but that "in my conversation with Jenny, she has the best chance of winning, and I really don't want this city to go back to the divisiveness that I inherited." In other words, Durkan had the best chance at wiping the floor with McGinn on the ballot.
Asked whether that meant the endorsement was more anti-McGinn than pro-Durkan, Murray shot back: "No, it's pro-Jenny Durkan," before launching into a renewed broadside against McGinn's tenure as mayor (again, without naming the candidate).

In Endorsing Durkan, Murray Trashes McGinn

Now that Murray has gone KeyArena or bust (which I've heard was stupid), I expect Durkan to do the same, even though neither knows yet how much tax money they plan to give to the Oak View Group.

Ed Murray is part of the "or bust" arena supporters, though I don't expect anyone else to point it out, at least not like this, because…:

Bust is not an option

Ed Murray not running for re-election for Mayor of Seattle

Ed Murray is not running for re-election.
He was the last person to recognize how bad it would suck for him to lose to Mike McGinn.
Running as a write-in candidate is difficult, but it's even harder to lose to somebody you hate.
I don't care for how Ed was forced out of the race. Regardless, I wasn't going to vote for him.

KNKX Public Radio (@knkxfm)
Mayor Ed Murray has announced he won't run a write-in campaign for re-election. Murray is endorsing Jenny Durkan for Seattle mayor.

I wish Jenny Durkan the best of luck, whoever she eventually turns out to be as a candidate.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray opposes the SoDo arena

He said something about his predecessor, because that's who Ed is.
Have a great day,
Mike Baker

OVG would not walk away from KeyArena if Hansen gets street vacation

KeyArena developers see 'window of opportunity' for NHL team, but not NBA for a while | The Seattle Times
OVG have sunk costs in presentations and travel, so, there's that holding them to this arena rock money machine.
Leiweke was asked whether his group would pull out of talks if the council in the interim approved a provisional street vacation of Occidental Avenue South that Hansen's group says it needs to be "shovel ready'' and attract more financing and teams.
Leiweke replied that his group would never have pursued the KeyArena renovation if it felt Hansen still had any shot at landing an NBA team. An MOU between Hansen, the city and King County expires Dec. 3 and provides up to $200 million in public bond funding if he acquires an NBA franchise.
KeyArena developers see 'window of opportunity' for NHL team, but not NBA for a while | The Seattle Times

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Seattle Councilmember Rob Johnson, "I just don't want to get fleeced."

The council's confidence in the proposal to renovate KeyArena is less than enthusiastic.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw expressed her opinion that the city is done with SoDo if Chris Hansen can't produce a NBA team by the end of the MOU, 12/3/2017. There will then be a gap between the end of the SoDo MOU and the KeyArena MOU due sometime in 2018. If Sally's plan fails then Seattle sports fans have nothing.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Generation Gomez Addams

The generation after the *millennials will emulate Gomez Addams.
This I predict!

Gomez Addams - Wikipedia

"Husband to Morticia (if indeed they are married at all) ... a crafty schemer, but also a jolly man in his own way ... though sometimes misguided ... sentimental and often puckish — optimistic, he is in full enthusiasm for his dreadful plots ... is sometimes seen in a rather formal dressing gown ... the only one who smokes."

*Future generations will mistake "millennials" is a kind of walrus.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

I'll show myself out, Sonics Rising

I've stepped away from Sonics Rising, and I thank them for giving me space to write.
I'm not having fun.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's not just loyalty, it's reality

I agree with Aaron Levine of Q13 Fox News, there is a missing element of trust (my word) with OVG's Tim Leweike. A contributing factor Levine doesn't mention is the history of plans to renovate KeyArena have failed so badly that the Sonics and now in Oklahoma City. His open disdain for the NBA returning to Seattle bleeds out into disrespect for the fans that, frankly, made this situation possible for Chris Hansen and Tim Leweike.
Hansen acknowledges it, Leweike is just kind of an asshole about it.

Two steps for Leweike:
Step 1. Don't be an asshole if you want $90+ million of my tax dollars.
Step 2. Grasp the idea that David Stern scorched the earth on the NBA's leave of Seattle. It sure as heck wasn't the leagues that laid the groundwork for you and Hansen. Lots of people that never wanted to Sonics to leave are helping to make your big payday possible. Do you think Hansen showed up and had to grow support? Really?

Again, Leiweke’s plan might be the best one, and his intentions might be pure. But if that’s the case, it’s up to him to prove it down the line. And until he does, because of our city’s past, there will always be doubt, there will always be uncertainty. And there will always be questions about whether he’s the next out-of-town salesman who doesn’t have our best interests in mind.Commentary: Given Seattle's sports history, the value of loyalty and humility cannot be overlooked in arena debate | Q13 FOX News

Jerry Bruckheimer and David Bonderman aren't feral cats

If you want exclusive right to a city park in the hottest economy in America… show up. 
But that's not their goal, there goal is anywhere.
This might be shocking, but, the head shots of Jerry Bruckheimer and David Bonderman have appeared in another market they were so exited to be a part of, Las Vegas. If in Las Vegas or Seattle, then anywhere else isn't a very strong selling point. 
They volunteered to make money in Seattle, and that's the depth of their connection and commitment.
After failing to bring the NHL to Las Vegas in 2007, Jerry Bruckheimer and David Bonderman are teaming again with Tim Leiweke to own a hockey team. It's in Seattle this time.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Why are we doing this?

So, is that the existential question, Chris Hansen has somebody that's interested in owning an NBA team (him), Oak View Group (OVG) doesn't have a perspective NBA owner so OVG are splitting NBA fans off, banking in the NHL fans and a desperate city council?
Tim Leiweke has been doing this since he got here.

During Civic Cocktail Chris Hansen answered the arena priority question among fans, basketball then hockey then everything else, but are those priorities represented in the council?

None of this looks to be on purpose (though it is)  as much as just teams playing to their strengths.
It's a hell of a competition. 

I think Larry Stone shows a side of this with an interview with OVG's Tim Leweike. Leweike can't both be a seasoned professional and somehow "chuckle" about the NBA (Why the Hell do you think you are here?), as calculating as Chris Hansen stepping all over Leweike's big day.

Many Seattle sports fans are holding back their enthusiasm despite the impressive prospect of a sparkling KeyArena upgrade. They simply haven’t been convinced that the Oak View Group’s Tim Leiweke is as committed as Chris Hansen to getting the NBA back to Seattle.
Why many Seattle NBA fans prefer Sodo arena project over KeyArena rebuildLarry Stone / Columnist
Larry Stone is right.

This is what Tim Leweike does for a living. Sometimes he's successful at it. Sometimes he is not.

[edited for clarity, I don't think Tim Leweike give a shit about basketball, he wants 100 nights of arena rock.]

Thursday, June 8, 2017

KING5: KeyArena proposal to get two studies, transportation and economic, per Council President Harrell

KING5 News reports that the proposal by Oak View Group will lead the council to higher two independent consultants, one for transportation and one for finance.
Council legislation will be coming soon.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memo: Sunday, May 29, 2017, taking advantage of a 3 day weekend at the Seattle Times

Yesterday, the day Geoff Baker discovered a horribly inaccurate estimate he accused the council of "hiding" ( Sorry he can't say sorry, zealots were involved.

Prize winning Journalist Geoff Baker reports that the $285 million cost estimate from the AECOM's 2015 report, "Identification and Evaluation of Options for the Future of KeyArena", was crap [summarizing] (

Here's the punchline to today's episode.

AEG, current operator of KeyArena, has a strategic partnership with [spoiler alert] AECOM.

Who? Hmmm, you might recall their name showing up in the Seattle Times editorials and the professional journalistic stylings of Geoff Baker, here (

On design elements, the SP group proposes "stretching" the roof over KeyArena's south end and filling in the additional space with more seating. While innovative, the design has raised questions about whether altering the roof would pass muster with historical preservationists.

In "stretching" the roof, the SP group's center-court scoreboard also could not hang down from KeyArena's mid-ceiling peak. The notion of an off-center scoreboard has raised questions about interior aesthetics the SP group has been asked by the city to address.

SP initially had Rossetti Architects design a renovation AEG president Bob Newman said in January would be "probably a fraction of the cost of what a new project would cost" and within range of the $285 million projection from the city's 2015 AECOM report.

But soon after, Leiweke began hinting to reporters and others that OVG envisioned a half-billion-dollar proposal. Around that time, SP brought in the Gensler architectural firm and within weeks revised its plan into the bigger $521 million "stretched" roof design.

Whether the city thinks that revised pitch was too hastily planned remains to be seen. We'll know when a winner gets picked.

That's Geoff Baker and the Seattle Times shifting the source of communication of the horrifically inaccurate remodel $285 million cost estimate off their names and onto Bob Newman and AECOM. A three-day holiday weekend is as good a time as any for this.

AECOM quietly shows up in the camouflage of names, AEG, Seattle Partners, AECOM as a cost estimator. Can we really trust any of the cost estimates in the 2015 AECOM report or the Seattle Partners KeyArena remodel estimates? 

I recognize estimates are by definition wrong, but a 98% error one way and KeyArena estimates shifts from $285 million to $521 million. Is Scenario C in the report $143 million or is it $285 million or is it wrong the other way, $75 million, which is much closer to the $20 million cost mentioned in the 2006 report?

Seattle City Council should issue a Request For Proposals in reference to the 2015 AECOM report, Identification and Evaluation of Options for the Future of KeyArena, Scenario C, in particular, costs and public/private cost estimates.


Sunday, May 29, 2017 the 30th story written by Geoff Baker that mentions the AECOM report since way back on October 25th, 2015. Not counting the last one where he finally explicitly rejects the $285 million dollar number and throws Bob Newman under the bus, he wrote 29 stories. He wrote (19 months) / 29 (stories) = 1 story every 2.8487692 weeks (or every 19.9413844 days). It just looks like Geoff Baker made a living writing AECOM in arena stories. I'm sure he did other things at the Seattle Times, too.

Here is the link to the Seattle Times search for AECOM by author Geoff Baker.

Note: No relation.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Yes, KeyArenas Roofline is historic and iconic.

[this was my email, I cc it here]
Landmarks Preservation Board Members,
For the Seattle Center site, I prefer to have the Paul Thiry buildings identified as landmarks, including KeyArena. They express our architectural ideas to the world. Please, recommend preservation and if possible, recommend that remodeling incorporate some of the original architectural design elements.
Developers should at least attempt to keep the inside of that arena from being the arena equivalent of a strip mall by alienating exterior historical design elements.

Going forward, if a new arena is selected for construction in SoDo then part of the one time and/or incremental tax revenue must be used to bring the seating scale of KeyArena brought down to the original Seattle Coliseum size, 13,000, with as much of the original designer's  intent. It would be a unique size to this area.

In the 2015 AECOM report, Identification and Evaluation of Options for the Future of KeyArena, Scenario C (, as a guide for scaling KeyArena down closer to its original size. This size was within the range recommended by Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams's to city council on 9/13/2012 ( , => 28 min, 15 sec) to scale down to a capacity range between 5,000 up to 15,000 for KeyArena in the event that a sports arena were built elsewhere in the region.

Please consider, the city council could choose to remodel KeyArena into a modern version of its modern self, a split 11878 seat / 2905 seat with no competition for the 11878 seat theater, serving everyone that can get there without a car.

Legislation and an active MOU already directs a portion of the $200 million in public financing (2012 clerk file toward mitigating impacts a new arena would have on KeyArena. The SoDo arena proposer is now declining much of that tax revenue. The city should extend a portion of the MOU legislation if they choose to approve vacating a portion of Occidental. Do not lose this potential revenue stream for remodeling KeyArena.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

Friday, May 26, 2017