Photo credit: KOIN 6 News
A couple years ago, when the Sonics asked the city of Seattle to help generate revenue to help fund a renovation of Key Arena, the city and its politicians replied with a mighty chorus of “No, no, and no.” And guess what happened? The team skipped town and left Sonics fans staring at Seattle mayor Greg Nickels in disbelief. 41 years of history. Gone.
Now fast forward to the present. Long story short, San Francisco business man Chris Hansen has rallied a group of private investors to shell out possibly $800 MILLION to a) purchase NBA and NHL teams and b) help build a $500 Million arena.
First thought: That is a lot of money. So much money I have to sit and reflect how much money that really is. I mean, sheesh. This small army of businessmen basically donating that kind of money to the city of Seattle is almost incomprehensible.
But is this too good to be true? To complete this project, $200 Million needs to come from tax revenue.
“Haha,” Seattle granola-cruncher man says. “We’ve got you now! No way I’m voting to increase my sales tax to fund a stupid arena! I win!”
But wait, Mr. Seattle granola-crunching man. Did you know that this $200 Million will come at no cost to the taxpayer?
“How is that?” replies granola-cruncher, spilling his Frappuccino on his scarf.
Well, it’s pretty simple. The money would be generated through rent payments and existing taxes, including revenue generated by the arena through sales, property, ticket and admissions, B&O and parking taxes. So in essence the arena would pay for itself after being built.
“But um, well, that’s stupid that we would use $200 Million to fund an arena! Why not use it for statues of artists or bike lanes? You know… important stuff?” replies granola-cruncher as he is starting to sweat.
Easy. Seattle mayor Mike McGinn insisted that the money would not exist if not for the arena project.
Yeah, that’s what I thought. This is a sports fan (Hansen) doing something great for other sports fans. It will not affect the average Seattle citizen negatively regarding taxes and money.
Granola-crunchers, you have no excuse. Buy in. Only good can come out of a new, state of the art basketball/hockey/concert/any event you can think of arena.
Believe it. We’ve come this far. Why stop now?
- Nathan Parsons (@nathanparsons98)