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