One of the Seattle councilmembers who voted to block Chris Hansen’s SoDo arena plans on Monday attempted to explain her vote to KING 5’s Chris Daniels yesterday:
“I had to balance fact and fiction,” [Debora Juarez] told KING 5. “The fiction is a third arena and no NBA team, and a living breathing port with people and jobs and traffic, and that’s what concerned me the most.”…
“I really, really want a basketball team in this town,” Juarez said.
“I went to Sonics games. I want a shiny new arena in this town, I just don’t believe it belongs in SoDo.”…
However, the North Seattle district representative says she’s not about to push for a Key Arena remodel. Juarez, who chairs the Council committee overseeing Seattle Center, says it has issues too.
“The zoning would have to change dramatically in that neighborhood, and I cannot see those neighbors saying wider streets, more upzoning, more parking, more congestion,” said Juarez about Seattle Center. “It’s reached a point in its life where it’s become a public space, a public park, a cultural icon, and that’s why I would like to see a brand new shiny arena somewhere else”.
So: Juarez likes basketball, and likes shiny things, but didn’t like this shiny thing, because it might not have basketball and also JOBS! And TRAFFIC! That’s clear as … something not very shiny.
Proponents of the arena responded in appropriately measured tones:
This is an example of the garbage @SeattleCouncil is getting today…
— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) May 3, 2016
There’s still a chance that this eventually leads to everyone taking a step back and figuring out what makes the most sense for Seattle, outside the emotional debates about bringing back the Sonics. But for the moment, the future looks not very shiny at all.