Seattle mayoral candidates all like hoops, mostly favor Hansen arena plan over Key remodel

KCPQ-TV in Seattle has polled this fall’s umpteen mayoral candidates on where they stand on a new arena, and if you don’t want to bother with clicking through, the survey says: They all want the Sonics to return (and, presumably, are against kicking puppies) and almost all prefer Chris Hansen’s Sodo arena plan to Oak View’s KeyArena remodel, including early frontrunner Mike McGinn (who, if he sounds familiar, it’s because he was already mayor of Seattle once from 2009-2013). Though the other reported frontrunner, Jenny Durkan, had only this to say:

I grew up a Sonics fan and I’m still a Sonics fan. I want an NBA team back in Seattle. I am for whatever proposal gets the Sonics here the fastest.

Of course, this could all be moot by then if current mayor Ed Murray and the city council finalize an arena deal before November, which may or may not happen. At least the city of Seattle is hiring some professional help to negotiate its memorandum of understanding with Oak View, which is always a good idea, as those sports developer lawyers will eat you for lunch otherwise.

18 comments on “Seattle mayoral candidates all like hoops, mostly favor Hansen arena plan over Key remodel

  1. Given that every signal from the league for at least the last decade is there is no expantion on the horizon and the most plausible teams which could have relocated now seem off the table as an option, it is probably best this stays empty platitudes.

  2. The incredible part to me is that with that many mayoral candidates NOBODY has called the rest crazy for thinking an NBA team is going to fall out of the sky. You’d think some longshot would try that just to see if it would get him/her some momentum.

    I think the NBA will expand back into Seattle eventually but it’s clear that’s not happening anytime soon and there aren’t any likely relocation teams right now. And their hopes to get an NHL team are even worse–they got passed over for Vegas and Canada would clearly be the frontrunner if they did expand again. They’re going to build this arena with nobody to use it.

    • The NHL wants to be in Seattle in the worst way. It didn’t pass us over during the last expansion offering. There were simply no Seattle NHL investors offering to pay the $500 million expansion fee. There was also no viable arena plan in Seattle at the time of the expansion offer to act on it. Given the plan that is bubbling for the Key right now, if a deal is consummated between the city and OVG for an NHL approved rebuild of the Key, and “steel is coming out of the ground” , it’s very likely that there will be another expansion round coming shortly after, particularly with deep pockets like Bruckheimer, the “whale” for a potential Seattle NHL team.

      • I’ve seen lots of NHL speculation over the past several years and Seattle is rarely in the top 2-3 locations mentioned. Quebec City would highly likely get the next expansion team. Hamilton, Ontario gets mentioned a lot and many believe a second team in Toronto would instantly become one of the most profitable teams in the league. Now, a stadium ready to go could change things but Seattle has never been a big-time hockey town–if they were they’d have had an NHL team before now.

        • If Nashville, Tampa Bay and Dallas, with their lack of junior and rec hockey prior to expansion, can have the NHL thrive in their cities, then it should bode well for the Seattle area with its strong tradition of support for junior hockey.

          Our main problem is we have a myopic political establishment that doesn’t give a damn about public/private partnerships for sports like other big cities.

          GTA Toronto had its chance to bid on a franchise a couple of years ago and didn’t do it.

        • Yeah I think Seattle is definitely on the agenda, but I don’t know if it is top 2. Probably 3, with as you said Hamilton and Quebec being better candidates.

          Hamilton seems to be partially nixed by the Leafs and their owners though. So I might expect Quebec and then Seattle.

          After that maybe another team in Connecticut or NE? Frankly the Minnesota/Chicago/Wisconsin/Michigan area could support another team, but the problem would be where to put it.

          Madison would be ideal but is not nearly big enough and Milwaukee isn’t enough of a hockey town.

        • You have not been paying attention if you don’t think Seattle is on the top of the list for NHL expansion.

  3. I’d say most folks here want them back. From Oct to May its overcast, rainy and 40 degrees. Something to do 10 nights a month. The economy is different then it was 20 years ago.

    Hawks are charging $250 for nosebleeds, sonics would be pulling in a pretty penny.

  4. Not to do the old “That can’t be a $20 bill in the gutter, somebody would have picked it up already” economist joke, but: If a Seattle NBA franchise were such a sure moneymaker compared to other markets, wouldn’t one of the other owners have moved there already?

    • True but there are those nasty old leases that a lot of them have to abide by as well. I could see Memphis or New Orleans as possibilities, especially if the Bensons like $$$$$ more than they like owning a basketball.

      • New Orleans is effectively paying Benson to have the Pelicans play there now. Doubt either Oak View or Hansen would or could afford to match that:

  5. “I grew up a Sonics fan and I’m still a Sonics fan.”

    Only in Seattle, would a necrophiliac like this guy, be in the running for mayor.

    • That quote is from Jenny Durkan, not Mike McGinn. Only in Seattle would a proven hack like McGinn even have a second chance at being mayor again (however remote) because the guy who replaced him was even worse. Ed Murray’s endorsement of Durkan didn’t do her campaign any favors.

      Anyway, it doesn’t matter who the next mayor is because the Seattle City Council will never vote in favor of a privately-owned venue over the one they already own, even if Hansen’s site makes far more logistical sense than the “transportation-challenged” Seattle Center. The fix is in.

  6. What people don’t yet get is there is another option that is a win-win-win for all. Let the Fans & the Community be Investors in the Arena. Using the new SEC regulations under A+ Title IV Tier-2 We can raise 50 Million in equity from anyone that want to be a Participant in the arena. This is something the City Council incorporate into either arena plan eliminating tax subsidies – Yes the SODO arena is shooting for tax subsidies too Including tax waivers and TIF’s
    If People would understand this new option available we could be the very first Fan Invested Stadium /Arena in the country – How Awesome would that be?
    Yes it is real – Have doubts? Call the SEC & ask about this regulation which permits everyday average folks to be investors in Large Commercial Real Estate Properties such as large sports stadiums via an internet portal & own real stock ownership shares in the arena. You can even sell those shares on the NASDAQ or OTC exchanges. Best yet you get paid dividends from the stadium revenue. Let the FANS be real participant in our large sports facilities – not just taxed & charged $250 bucks for a nosebleed seat.

    • My doubts have nothing to do with whether it’s legal, and everything to do with how you share “dividends” from stadiums whose revenues 9 times out of 10 can’t even repay their construction costs.

      • Hi Neil – “everything to do with how you share “dividends” from stadiums” So you’d rather advocate for people getting taxed again & again to fuel more Billionaire team owners getting free money from taxpayers, instead of letting the Fans & Community having a voluntary participation in our stadiums? It’s a different model, but seems like the Fans & Community are REALLY happy in Green Bay WI about being able to be involved with their home town team in the smallest & coldest market in the USA & oh Yeah, they don’t get ANYTHING for their investment No free beer, no dividends, no preferred seats – Nothing – Yet they STILL want to be involved with their hometown team,… Huh Go Figure?

  7. The sports reported that “commissioned” this analysis has been publicly bashing the KeyArena redevelopment plan and the city for the last couple months. What he fails to do is add context to the question. I.e. what would you do with KeyArena (and who will pay for it) if they allow Hansen’s SoDo arena to be built? The reality is that Hansen doesn’t have the money to build and own a franchise but trying to create leverage so he can use his monopoly on any arena plan to carve himself into the ownership group in Seattle.