Rantz: Childish Seattle politics will keep Sonics away forever
This is getting ridiculous.
Chris Hansen and his colleagues have come to the table offering up private financing to not only build a new SODO arena that’s already served by public transit but to fully cover the redevelopment of KeyArena. But the City of Seattle has the audacity to claim they have “no interest in working in partnership with the City.”
In a preposterous statement from the Seattle Office of Economic Development, the city takes Hansen’s group to task:
If the SODO Arena Group was interested in redeveloping KeyArena, they should have submitted their proposal during the RFP process, which would have shown a willingness to work with the City on this project. They did not submit a proposal and continue to show no interest in working in partnership with the City.
When petty squabbles, vendettas, and politicking get in the way of common sense decisions, it’s easy for a city agency to come out with such a laughable statement.
The fix has been in since the start and there are many to blame.
As with any politician, Mayor Ed Murray wants to leave his legacy. He’s even more motivated given, as of now, that he will almost certainly be remembered exclusively by the claims of alleged sexual misconduct with minors. But even before the charges were leveled publicly in Seattle, Murray was playing politics, telling 710 ESPN Seattle that he wanted to bring the team here to tell the world that gay people like sports.
“I would love to be the mayor that brought the Sonics back … Often when I listen or look at sports blogs, I see a lot of stuff about who gay men are and having been the first gay mayor of this city, I’d love to be the guy who brought these teams home and shut some of these guys down.”
Whether gay people like sports or not hasn’t been a question for quite a while. Gay people like sports. This is identity politics and its standing in the way of getting the Sonics back.
Furthermore, we know the majority of the Seattle City Council is in the pocket of unions. They hold on to the tenuous claim that granting a street vacation — on a street that’s virtually never used for anything beyond parking — is integral to the business of the port. It’s not.
The council won’t allow the SODO project to move forward, further, because of concerns over traffic. That’s funny because they’ve literally never given a damn about traffic anywhere else; indeed, traffic would be cataclysmic if the Sonics played at KeyArena. They want the credit for bringing back the Sonics, too, and they’ll be damned if they need a one-percenter like Hansen to help.
This has become so petty and childish. To say no to two privately funded projects that actually benefit the region just so you can get credit or screw a rich guy out of being seen as the savior is rather telling. Are you here to serve us or yourselves? I think we know the answer.