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Comments (33)
New report says Chris Hansen in talks with NBA for expansion team
Let the speculation start again. Just weeks after the NBA voted down Chris Hansen's effort to buy the Sacramento Kings and move the team to Seattle, there's word Hansen has begun "productive talks" with the league about bringing an expansion team to town.
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  • bigbertha wrote...
    i knew it
    I said it before it all comes down to expasion. he is playing his cards right and knows exactly what he is doing.
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  • Yadda1 wrote...
    Bigbertha,
    do the morons that post on this blog that say Chris Hansen is stupid, nothing but a salesman, crack you up as much as they do me? He is anything but!
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  • bigbertha wrote...
    yadda1
    he is a pretty smart guy and knew exactly what he was doing. i dont see him as stupid. even before they made the decision to deny the kings move. he knew that it was a long shot. he knew they would offer expansion. he will bring a team back to seattle a fresh new sonics team overflowing with super stars. everything goes good like he wants it to. all the super star players that are up for free agency when this deal falls through are going to want to come to seattle! watch! Seattle is going to be the team to beat as soon as the sonics are back. they have the money to bring in any amount of star players they want and they are going to. Seattle will make Miami AND OKC,LA and san antonio look like high school bball teams. GO CHRIS HANSEN!! GO SONICS!!
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  • Chuck Gould wrote...
    Let him expand his investment in the proposed arena....
    and take the taxpayers off the hook for $200-million in general obligation bonds.

    Sure, he's going to "pay it back" with taxes generated by the team and the arena- but the same taxes would be due if the public weren't putting up $200-million to start with.

    It's true the arena might not get built without the $200-million contribution from taxpayers- but why should this particular private business be favored? Any number of businesses could make a claim that with a couple of hundred million dollars from taxpayers they could establish a viable commercial enterprise and increase tax revenues. And yeah, eventually the tax revenues would "pay back" the public investment.

    Where do the rest of us get in line for a chance to get $200-million from the taxpayers, as long as we use it to establish a business that will pay some taxes?

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  • TheAverageFan wrote...
    Over and over and over and....
    Seriously... Enough already. Get over it. The number of small business that are funded through both state and federal grants is quite plentiful actually. In fact, the vast majority of small business in our community would not be able to continue to exist alongside the major corporations if it weren't for the grants and tax breaks given them (and rightfully so) by our state and federal government. The bottom line is this, and I'll repeat it so that crusty old curmudgeons like yourself can hear it again... The $200 million in bonding that the arena would require from the city and county DO NOT REDUCE THE BONDING CAPACITY OF THE CITY AND THE COUNTY. Period. This money doesn't take money from other business. It doesn't take money away from schools. Nothing. Nadda. Zilch. It has ZERO effect on you. Want to get in line for $200 million dollars in bonds to start a business? Go ahead. Put $750 million of YOUR OWN MONEY on the table first. Then come back and b*tch about Chris Hansen. Until then, go back to yelling at the kids to get off of your lawn.
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  • ratrustle wrote...
    We ought to get rid of all government
    subsidies and tax breaks to big business. We can start with Boeing! That makes about as much sense as "free" health care...
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  • flashash wrote...
    WHAT THE Frick are you talking about?
    You have to be kidding!!! So I am Boeing, and you take away my tax breaks. You know what I do? I close up shop, lay off their 80,000 employees in Washington State and move all opperations to S Carolina and Kansas. Lets see, Tax breaks or the state and feds covering 80,000 people, plus all the jobs lost by local suppliers, that are now unemployed, on welfare and getting foreclosed. All because you want to get rid of corporate tax breaks.
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  • mwor680 wrote...
    If I'm not mistaken...
    Ratrustle's comment was made tongue-in-cheek. That's how I read it anyway.
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  • flashash wrote...
    So, the $400million plus the team isn't enough?
    So here's a guy that bought land (that he is giving to the city), He is paying for over half the cost of an arena (that will have more than just the team he owns in it, such as NHL, concerts, NCAA tournament games, Corporate events, etc), No, the taxes would not be there because they are user taxes. No users, no taxes. Also, You are apparently ignorant to the facts. If, the tax revenue does not cover the bond payments, Hansen's group are bound by legal agreement to cover the payment. Oh ya, just so you know, this happens in business all the time, not just in sports. Go ask the people who built McCaw Hall and the Meydenbauer Center. Then there is the 3rd and final example, Go ask the port who pays for upgrades for the port when they need to keep Hamberg Sud, Horizon Line or Maresk Lines happy so they don't move to Tacoma, Vancouver or Long Beach. You may think I am blowing smoke, but no, I read the facts, not listen to "People For More Important Things". I am a sports fan, this is important to me and a lot of other people. BTW, there are a lot more of us that there are of you.
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  • TheAverageFan wrote...
    flashash...
    You're awesome. Sadly this argument is a waste of time and energy. Chris Hansen can literally write THIS LEGALLY BINDING agreement with the blood of his first born child and people like Chuck and Newton will continue to be cynics just to make themselves feel better about being the ones who protested the big bad business man. They don't get it. They won't get it. And they simply can't get it. Ignorance and narrow minded views will allow then to sleep tonight knowing that they knew better than to trust anyone. And that's ok. Tomorrow I'll wake up happy and they'll wake up still cynical and angry.
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  • stevebody wrote...
    Did you bother to read ANYTHING about this?
    WHEN are people like you going to get it? We ALL support each others' projects and interests. It's called a "society" and you don't get to negate your neighbor's priorities without understanding that payback is quite likely. Unless you live with your head in a bag, YOU have some issue you care about - parks, roads, police, fire, schools. What if we were all aggressively advocating against your interests? My kids are all grown, so to heck with your school levy. The roads are fine, so why spend any more money? Parks? Who needs parks? I;m being facetious but if you think there are not people who DO think that way, you're dreaming. Thousands of us see the benefit of an arena and an NBA team, and these taxes that you're whining about are taxes collected AT THE ARENA, meaning that they'll come ONLY from those of us who use it, NOT people like you and those morons at People For More Important Things. The city and state form partnerships with private parties routinely and the backers of this certainly have far more than enough funds to pay back the $200 million, even if the whole enterprise tanked completely. I read things like what you wrote all the time and really have to wonder what your motivation is. YOU, personally, don't have to attend a single game at the arena and so don't have to pay ANY taxes in support of it. It's been proven over and over again that communities that share in the investment of projects like these tend to support and value the facilities more than those which are 100% privately funded. Do you honestly think that Steve Ballmer, the Nordstrom family, and Chris Hansen are unable to finance it themselves? Get real. The $200 million is the cement that bonds Seattle and Washington state to the arena and the team. It lets all of us say, "I helped get that thing built and bring a team back to Seattle". If you don't want to be part of that, fine. But then don't pontificate about the subject that you're not at all involved in. Those of us who value this can pay for it and you can sit home and play parcheesi.
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  • Newton wrote...
    Just pu it in Key arena.
    That way tax payers don have to buy his scam land for triple the price. Don't have to borrow 200 million from the tax payers. Your argument is get over it!. In the Constitution The First amendment is freedom of Speech. Number One!. Because what I have to say is important!. I strongly suggest that if you don't like it leave the country for China. Here's a Novel Idea. We the people of Seattle Don't want a basketball team. What happened to rome?. Those that where in power made alot of bad chocies This is no differnt. the Economy is not strong enough to support a team from the tax payers. These Billionaires have Billions of thier own money let them spend it on thier own toy's. To be selling or borrowing from the hard working citizens. Who need a tax break more then a bond for the rich. I say let them build it on thier own dime.
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  • bigbertha wrote...
    NEWTON
    NEWTON NEWTON NEWTON??? ARE YOU SERIOUS? When all this started you were one of the first to get all wet in your panties and you know it. anything and everything you post does not make any sense at all. now that he doesnt have to pay for a team i believe he and balmer can afford to build the arena them selves. Seattle is prime real estate for a new team and The NBA knows it. Seattle will rein as champions if they are granted expasion. WATCH N SEE!!
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  • TheAverageFan wrote...
    Newton...
    I spent twelve years of my life defending your right to have an opinion. I'm not telling you that you don't have the right to voice your opinion. I would have given my life to defend your right to that opinion. That being said... your opinion is ignorant and based in a complete lack of knowledge regarding the structure of this arena deal and how government bonding actually works. Oh, and millions of men and women are still defending my right to tell you that. Don't come at me with your first amendment speech. I don't require that lesson.
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  • Chuck Gould wrote...
    Average Fan and "how government bonding actually works"
    It works like this. The government borrows money from private investors and issues promises to repay the money, plus interest of course. The bonds represent the promise to repay, and are a claim against the general tax revenues of the government borrowing the money.

    In this case, the government is proposing to borrow $200-million from private investors and turn the money over to a private business. The only shred of rationale? "Duh, if we give these guys $200 million they are going to start a business that will eventually generate more than $200 million in tax revenues."

    Why is this sweetheart deal limited to a basketball arena? Aren't there other private business proposals that would benefit from $200-million dollars borrowed by the taxpayers on their behalf and which would pay taxes once established?

    You must be new in town. Aren't we still paying for the Kingdome (built at the demand of a couple of pro sports teams), years after its been torn down? I wonder how much tax revenue that debacle continues to generate? Then of course there's the Key Arena, the building that went from rave reviews from the BB Commissioner to dismissed as a garbage dump in less than a decade. I think we're still paying for that as well.

    Hansen and his group are *not* at risk for the $200-million ponied up by the taxpayers. The only risk resides with the public.

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  • Frogsplash wrote...
    Chuck
    Would those other private businesses turn over to the city a $500 million arena for $200 million (remember, it's $200 million only if the NHL comes). Would this other business owner as well put in a buy-back clause, so that if the city after 30 years doesn't want the business, the private owner is contracted to re-purchase? When you find another willing to do these things, come back, and we'll talk. As far as risk, Hansen Ballmer and the Nordstrom's most certainly are at risk, it's written right into the MOU. Any shortfall in revenue to cover the annual bond payment is made up by additional lease payments. On top of that additional funds are required to be placed in to an account to cover shortfalls. You have 2 separate backstops for any shortfalls. The risk to the city is that the group somehow loses 20 billion and can't afford the payment. Oh, and I have no idea why all of the anti-arena folks don't know this, the bond obligations are not strictly paid by tax revenue generated by the arena. Lease payments also go towards the obligation. Chuck, read the MOU, and would understand better. The very fact that at this juncture, you still do not know that lease payments go towards the bond obligation, shows that you haven't read it, or at least don't have a decent grasp on it.
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  • flashash wrote...
    Newton...
    All the first amendment says is that you can't be prosecuted for the things you say. You can tell your boss to go, and he can fire you. You can tell someone off in store and they can ban you. But you just can't be prosecuted for saying those things.
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  • Zagnut wrote...
    Average Fan, thank you for your posts.
    I am worn out from arguing with these idiots whenever an arena article is posted. Because of your excellent comments, I don't feel compelled to do it.
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  • stevebody wrote...
    Oh, puhleeeeze...
    That has to be the most incoherent screed I have ever read. "Scam land for triple the price"? What? Find us a piece of land anywhere within the Seattle city limits, that's of sufficient size to hold an arena, that's got a lower tax value than SoDo. Good luck with that. And all that tired old nonsense about the First Amendment...that's the Number One sign that the writer doesn't have a clue. Here's the fact: nobody is saying you shouldn't say what you said. OF COURSE, you have the right to write nonsense. That's the right that's contained in the First Amendment. What it does not guarantee you is that everybody has to agree with or respect what you wrote. And that same First Amendment guarantees us the right to say that we think you're babbling drivel. And "the people of Seattle don't want a basketball team" is like every other ridiculous assertion that people make in any collective sense. Obviously, after 41 years of profitable operation, after the Storm's decade of success, and the abuse you're taking here, your claim that we don't want a basketball team would be far more credible if you stated it truthfully: "I and six or seven of my friends, and people who think like me, don't want a basketball team in Seattle." That's really what you're saying; that you and "me-me-me" types like you are all that matters to you and the rest of us can go bugger ourselves. "What happened to Rome?" Now you're just blithering. THOUSANDS of us want the team and the arena and since the ONLY taxes that will pay for the arena are taxes collected AT the arena, you really don't have ANYTHING to complain about, do you? Get over yourself, man. Your concerns are NOT universal and your beliefs don't oblige your fellow citizens to do a stinkin' thing.
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  • tlmbrt wrote...
    The fact
    that nothing was heard from Hansen following the screw job by the NBA and Sacramento led me to suspect this might be the reason. We shall see...
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  • Newton wrote...
    Just because your stupid bigberth and averagedumbfan.
    So you have no argument to say I'm wrong. Toe toe I win my argument. Just on the basises of these are Billionaries they don't need my money or anybody else's money. So why are they pan handling the tax paying public money. Lets see I want to drive a corvette I could by one right now but since bigbertha and averagesports fan are dumb. I will just garnish there wages they are too dumb to notice anyway. So my corvette is at half price and they also pay for all the up keep on my new corvette because they are dumb.
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  • dragonmeteor wrote...
    Newton...
    If you are going to insult other people for their intelligence, then you sure as heck better show that you have a speck of intelligence yourself. My dead grandmother has better grammar and speech capability then you can ever hope to have. I won't even bother trying to figure out what you are trying to say, because this obviously is not good enough to pass pre-preschool. You think with spell check you would try to correct what you say. Are you color blind and not able to see red?
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  • sfk360 wrote...
    Don't pick on Newton guys
    It's pretty apparent that he has some major mental issues. Speaking of major mental issues, I'm surprised that the famous "CH" has not yet come into this thread and dazzled us with his extensive knowledge.
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  • manabouttown wrote...
    it didn't work before, why now?
    what makes anyone think a basketball team can make it here, when it failed already? why give a city a team that failed? Despite the entertaining finals going on now, the NBA has become just a bunch of overpaid thugs. I'm not interested in going to any "sonics" games. You guys can waste all your energy on the NBA if you want, but I'm out.
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  • Fakename70 wrote...
    If You're "Out", Troll Elsewhere Then
    You know what? I'm REALLY sick and tired of sheep like you hiding behind the anonymity of the internet and coded language (If I hear just 1 more idiot refer to NBA ballers as "thugs" as if there's no such thing as ice hockey...) who ultimately --- like the rest of the morons whose coded language you parrot --- have no clue with your "it failed already" claims. You really show just how much of the situation in 2008 that went completely over your head with a comment like that. I guess a mere 41 years of history counts as failure in your world. In regards to the NBA and "failure",let's not confuse Seattle with Vancouver here. Know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
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  • Chuck Gould wrote...
    The most poisonous aspect of the entire deal is that the NBA would refuse to come here without a public subsidy...
    While it would be morally and ethically proper for these billionaires to fund their own place of business, the sickest aspect of the whole affair is that if Hansen and Ballmer put up all the money required for the arena the NBA would likely refuse to put a team in Seattle.

    The NBA's only interest is in preserving and increasing the value of an NBA franchise. If holders of an NBA franchise don't have to make a capital investment, (or at least an initial or total capital investment) in their physical facilities that frees up more money with which prospective buyers can overpay for the franchise.

    It's awful to watch the way in which city after city across the country caves in to the extortion of the pro sports racket.

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  • TheAverageFan wrote...
    Morality and Ethics??
    Chuck, I agree with you in principle on a couple of points. But overall, I have to take a different stance when it comes to the overall issue that you bring up. First, I agree that the NBA's only interest is in preserving and increasing the value of an NBA franchise. Secondly, I agree that it's likely that Hansen and Ballmer could probably fund the entire investment on their own. However, that's the point where you and I take different paths to our conclusions. I would argue, and I envision that most people that think rationally about a business plan, that if the NBA doesn't continue to attempt to increase the value of its franchises, then it will ultimately be doomed to failure in any economic climate. The necessity of using public taxpayer capital funds to back a deal of this magnitude goes well beyond a simple reasoning of increasing the value of an NBA franchise or declining the value of a franchise. Particularly in the deal that has been laid out by the Hansen group, the initiatives for economic growth within our region would be massive. Everyone can try and argue their side of the story about whether a sports entertainment complex provides value for economic growth and community enhancement. However, the fact of the matter is that it has been proven to significantly improve the overall economic health and stability of regions (even in times of financial insecurity) dating back to Ancient Greece. Beyond that, to be more specific of the deal in question in Seattle, here are some of the key benefits: 1) having Key Arena renovated for special purpose functions, 2) the city’s ability to have ownership of the new stadium at the end of the deal (along with the land), 3) the enormous number of jobs created in this venture, 4) the number of community programs that would be created with additional professional sports teams in the area, 5) the revenue from tourist activity that would be specifically tied to this venture. You argue that it’s morally and ethically proper for these billionaires to use their own money to provide this opportunity to our region. But if you would look at the benefits strictly from an altruistic point of view, you would realize that the risks to the public of such a venture are completely outweighed by the benefits. There is absolutely nothing in the history of American Economics that has provided more economic and cultural benefit to individual cities than sport. It’s something to rally for, something to cheer together about, something to look forward to when the winter is wet and cold, and something that gives some kid in the park a goal to strive for. You can’t put a price tag on that Chuck. And no one in this deal is asking you to. The price for gas won’t increase. You won’t pay more for a loaf of bread or gallon of milk. But our community will thrive. Key Arena will thrive. Seattle Center will thrive. The stadium district will thrive. Kids will have summer jobs. Construction will increase. Tourism will increase. That’s worth the price of doing business with the NBA and the NHL in my opinion. Particularly when that price is of no impact to the citizens.
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  • DJ Allyn wrote...
    Yawn...
    Hasn't anyone really noticed that the interest in the NBA here is rather limited? Seattle is a "fair-weather fan" community. The only time we really get behind a team is when they are winning. If they aren't, then we aren't putting butts in their seats. Yeah, I get it that there ARE some of you die-hard fans out there. But I don't see a few of you warranting the hook that ALL of us are going to be on for the money that they well be wrenching out of our hands to pay for this project. I think we "like" the idea of having a bunch of major teams here in Seattle -- just to say that we have them. But I just don't see y'all filling up those seats every time your team is here to play. Look at the Mariner's attendance this year: the lowest ever. Why? Because they are having an off year in performance. Fair weather fans. Oh, you will get your expansion team, bringing back the "Sonics". You will get your new stadium built, and for the first couple of years before the novelty wears off, you might even pack the new stadium. But then everyone will start taking it for granted again, and in those seasons when the Sonics aren't playing so hot, you will be at home doing something else.
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  • Gantiz wrote...
    I Don't Trust the NBA...
    But I have all the faith in the world that Chris Hansen is a man of his word. And with word that the NHL is looking to move the Phoenix Coyotes here.... call me a sucker, but I again have hope....
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  • Fakename70 wrote...
    I Don't Trust It Either
    No one in Seattle should, so long as David Stern remains at the helm. It remains to be seen how his hand-picked successor will be any different, if at all. But, as shady as the league and its' owners (specifically, the Relocation Commitee)are (except for Allen & Cuban), no way they'd be dumb enough to walk away from Seattle Ownership Group's ready-for-expansion-fee money and miss out on the chance to pat themselves on the back for granting Seattle a second chance in the process. I think we'll see NBA expansion in Seattle before we'll see NHL relocation. Haven't heard anything from Don Levin lately anyway, so, who knows where his head is at now regarding bringing the NHL to Seattle. I'd love to see that happen as well, but, it's just been way too quiet in recent months compared to, say, Hamilton and Quebec City. But, if he's still interested, I sure wish he'd make himself known again publicly.
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  • Tonic99 wrote...
    .
    Scrooge>People against this arena deal
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