Anti-arena proposal e-mail may have backfired on Seattle councilmemberon June 26, 2012 @ 4:24 pm (Updated: 10:43 am - 6/27/12 )
Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin listed in an e-mail the considerations the council would undertake as they read and analyze the arena proposal. He then followed the outline by stating that he thought it was unlikely the arena proposal would pass.
"I think it is unlikely that this proposal will be approved," said Conlin in the e-mail. "I encourage proponents of a new basketball team to lobby Mr. Hanson [sic] to pursue this as a private enterprise with public cooperation but without the complex financial arrangements and public investment that the current proposal appears to rely on."
Arena investor Chris Hansen has committed $300 million in private funds to the arena project. In the proposal before King County and Seattle City councils, he has asked for an additional $200 million in public funds.
Other council members said, following Conlin's remarks, that the opinion of Conlin is not their own and they are continuing to review the proposal.
Last week, an optimistic Mayor Mike McGinn joined 710 ESPN's Brock & Salk and told them the proposal before the councils is unlike any other they've seen before.
"Normally, what happens is somebody comes to town and says 'Come up with a new tax. Start taxing hotels, restaurants or car rentals, or something and give that new money to us,'" McGinn said.
The proposed $500 million facility would sit just south of Safeco and CenturyLink fields.
Instead of following Conlin's suggestion of writing to Hansen to encourage him to foot the bill for the arena without public investment, the guys behind SonicsGate have encouraged basketball fans to respond to Conlin.
"Write a polite but firm e-mail to Seattle Councilmember Richard Conlin letting him know his reasons for opposing the plan are misinformed. The Chris Hansen arena deal is too good to pass up," wrote SonicsGate on their Facebook page.
One letter posted in the comments below the SonicsGate call-to-action garnered attention from fellow arena supporters:
"Thank you for conscientiously seeking to represent the citizens of Seattle," wrote James T. Wood. "I know you want what's best for the city and for your constituents. You've done an admirable job of looking at the figures involved with the new arena plan and the data surrounding the Sonics departure in 2008. There's more to this, however, than just numbers.
"If weight loss were only about numbers, no one would be obese. If debt management were only about numbers, no one would go bankrupt.
"It's about people, not just numbers."
While councilmembers have yet to vote on the arena proposal, Chris Hansen asked fans for patience in addition to support, to bring the SuperSonics back to Seattle.
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