Friday, May 26, 2017

Zealots Badmouth KeyArena Remodel Proposals

Noted "KeyArena or Bust" proponents, the Seattle Times Editorial Board, pounced on proposals to remodel KeyArena that were released a month ago. The board marched through a list of shortcomings they see in the two competing proposals. The board is imploring the city to negotiate an agreement with at least one proposer that is not worse financially than exists for KeyArena today.
The list was punctuated by several major issues, here are just three:

Murray initially said arena developers must provide "100 percent" of the project funding. The request for proposals said the facility must be built and operated "with minimal city financial participation."
Yet the developers both call for substantial public funds, including financing and diversion of revenue streams such as ticket taxes and naming rights. AEG proposed $250 million of city financing and Oak View included Port of Seattle financing.
Some public investment is reasonable in such a project.
But Murray and the City Council must clearly explain what current and potential city revenue is being contributed. Independent experts may be needed to analyze the cost and benefits.
Protecting taxpayers
The arena lately generated more than $1 million in yearly profit. A city that pleads poverty, saying it can’t afford parks and libraries without levies, must not easily give up such revenue. The deal should provide at least as much direct revenue, not just theoretical economic benefits.

Rent and other proceeds must escalate with inflation. The city should not lease its premier facility for nearly a century at a fixed rate.
The success of the arena and center depends on visitors from around the region. Transit, bicycling and walking are not options for the majority of them.
AEG and Oak View coddle City Hall fantasies of a nonmotorized utopia, waxing on about bikes, sustainability and ride-sharing. But they also explicitly say that most patrons will continue driving, even after mass transit expands.
Hansen offered around $20 million to address traffic in Sodo. The city should receive at least that much from the arena developer.
Substantial new parking is needed since nearby surface lots are mostly developed.
Both proposals lean on the Monorail to address traffic concerns. Increasing Monorail usage is a nice goal but an unrealistic solution to the large-scale congestion arena events create.
The city has a tremendous opportunity to partner with a reputable operator and lure the NBA and NHL to Seattle.
This must be done right — carefully and realistically — to build lasting support across the city and region, and ensure the venue succeeds for everyone.
Negotiate wisely for best possible KeyArena redo - Seattle Times
But the 2015 AECOM report… they approached us… they hid the report!
There was more to the editorial but I didn't think it was important, besides, I'm not here to make zealots happy.