This week in boondoggle vivisection: audio edition!

Thanks to my recent Deadspin article on how Seattle may be showing the way to negotiating better sports deals (something Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat agrees with me on, for what it’s worth), as well as all the other stadium and arena news that’s suddenly been exploding, I’ve been on the radio — or podcasts, which I’m going to persist in calling “radio” even if actual radio waves aren’t involved, because who listens to the radio on the radio anymore anyway? — a lot the last week or so. Handy links for those who’d rather get their stadium commentary via their earholes:


17 comments on “This week in boondoggle vivisection: audio edition!

  1. Braid: Flames asked city to cover half arena cost, King says ‘it’s very fair’

    http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/braid-flames-asked-city-to-cover-more-than-half-arena-cost-king-says-its-very-fair

    • It’s actually worse than that, I’d say, because the Flames apparently wanted to get revenues to pay off their share, but for the city to get none. So it’s a bit like, “How about we go to a restaurant and split the check, and I get to eat both meals?”

      • Now it seems they are complaining that they’d actually have to pay for both meals. But I’m sure you’re on top of the latest Neil. Maybe owners will finally begin to see the public don’t have an appetite (pun not really intended) for this anymore. I’m a Flames fan from Calgary and would hate to see the team leave if it came to that, but “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”.

        • I took that to mean “Money from *our* arena would go to pay for the whole cost, and it’s *our* arena because the arena would be *ours* (except for the city helping to build it and owning it and not making us pay property taxes on it).”

          • Ah yes. Maybe my quip about your paraphrase should have joked about them complaining that the city actually wants to eat their portion of the meal that they paid for? (Saw your comments on the CBC article.)

          • Yeah, something like that. Wait, does this mean my CBC interview is up? (They really liked the “eat both meals” line.)

  2. You’ll likely have a receptive audience with Ron & Don on KIRO-FM. They’re generally typical Seattle spendaholics on most things, but I believe they’re pretty skeptical about the Coliseum renovation being a better idea than the SoDo arena. I’ll be listening…on a REAL radio, no less.

          • Oh, FWIW, the Seattle Times apparently isn’t allowing ANY reader comment threads on arena stories now, no matter who writes them. I’m shocked, of course.

          • Of course, as soon as I say the Times isn’t allowing reader comments on arena stories, they allow them on Baker’s latest piece.

            Good interview, an even-handed presentation by all of you and that’s not always the case. I DO think the City is sitting in the catbird seat (apologies to Red Barber) almost by mistake because of the competitive situation between Hansen and OVG, and taxpayers should come away relatively harm-free. My only contention with the Coliseum regards traffic. Jim Gaffigan did his thing there last weekend in front of a full house and it apparently took a LOOONG time for people to navigate their way home, and this is after millions were spent “solving” the traffic mess around Seattle Center. Nothing OVG is proposing will alleviate that. C’est la vie.

            The best on-air interview experience I’ve ever had was in the mid-90’s when Damon Huard (who was representing Paul Allen’s First & Ten group) and I went back-and-forth about the proposed Seahawks stadium. Took up a full half-hour and Damon was outstanding although we disagreed on most things, so listeners heard both sides presented clearly and respectfully. Wish I had tape rolling.

            Keep up the good work, Neil. Like Lenny Bruce (or Mort Sahl?) said in a different time and context, “Sometimes you’ve got to fight the madness.”

          • I don’t know about “almost by mistake” — the whole point of getting Key bids was in order to give the city multiple options, no? I mean, that wasn’t how it was planned from way back when the Sonics left, but there’s something to be said for thinking on your feet.

            As for traffic, I’ll fully acknowledge that’s a drawback to the Seattle Center site. But really, it’s something Seattle needs to address with or without a basketball team — I haven’t been there since the new light rail opened, but Seattle is not an easy place to get around in by any means of transport.

          • Light rail has reached some areas but doesn’t touch Seattle Center. There IS a light rail stop in SoDo (along with Amtrak), and the area is well-served by Metro Transit buses while I-5 and I-90 intersect nearly. Far, far more accessible with many more parking spaces. A logistial no-brainer in that aspect.

            I think Hansen’s been a useful tool for the City in his bidding war of sorts with OVG, but no way does he get that street vacation to build an arena that would compete with one the City already owns. Aso, after what happened in Sacramento, I don’t think the NBA is too eager to let Hansen into their old boys club either, especially since they got what they REALLY wanted in Seattle: Ballmer’s billions.

            Chris won’t come out of this with empty hands, though. He still owns a lot of very valuable real estate adjacent to downtown Seattle that’s exploded in value since he bought it.

  3. Calgary Flames CEO says city’s arena proposal would leave team footing full bill

    http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/calgary/calgary-city-council-flames-negotiations-deal-1.4291316

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