Now that all the details of the KeyArena renovation proposals are public, I don’t know why the Port of Seattle spent $185,000 on a consulting firm to help promote the KeyArena location – they could’ve just hired me for free! In fact, this would’ve been my speech:
“To Mayor Murray and Seattle City Councilmembers:
This is our chance to 'Make KeyArena Great Again.'
Look at these incredible offers! Two plans that fully embrace KeyArena’s...pre-existing condition. Two plans that fully privately fund a new arena, aside from 250 million dollars in public bonding in one plan – don’t worry, they’ll pay you back! – and aside from re-purposing tax revenue on admissions, retail sales and excise taxes in the other plan. They’re both still offers you can’t refuse!
Oak View even plans on building a garage! A great big, 850-spot garage. It’ll be...huge. And you know who’s going to pay for it? The Port of Seattle.
Who cares where the Port of Seattle gets all of their money, right?
So say it with me: 'They’re gonna build a great big garage – and the Port of Seattle’s gonna pay for it!'
And forget about what sports fans think. These guys will make this city happy with or without an NBA or NHL team. Just look at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, built on promises of a future pro sports team ten years ago, and now thriving without one! It’s so successful that Oak View included these two heartfelt letters in their proposal (pages 22-23):
Kay Barnes, the former mayor of Kansas City said this of Tim Leiweke: 'He has the ability to inspire and encourage people to believe in large-scale revitalization of their communities.'
Sylvester James, the current mayor of Kansas City wrote: 'He has the ability to inspire and encourage people to believe in large-scale revitalization of their communities.”
Barnes went onto say: 'The Sprint Center was the first arena in the United States to be built without a winter sport franchise in hopes that a team would come but has since been solely thriving on music and non-sports events.'
James went on to say: 'The Sprint Center was the first arena in the US to be built without a winter sports franchise in hopes that a team would come, but has since been solely thriving on music and non-sports content.'
I mean – you can’t get more original than those two letters, right?
And then, there’s transportation. Seattle Partners plans on adding $5 million to accelerate existing transportation strategies around the arena. FIVE MILLION DOLLARS! Do you realize what you can do with all that money?!?
And we can’t forget the monorail as a viable means of transportation. No one said it better than this:
(Monorail song from 'The Simpsons' episode)
Finally – just look at this photo from the Oak View Proposal. No one represented the Seattle biking community better than them. I can’t wait to see everyone riding their bikes, retrofitted with handy wicker baskets, to the arena in the everyday Seattle sunshine, wearing spiffy outfits too.
So, I don’t know what everyone is waiting for? With either plan, the city is gonna win – and it’s gonna win big...ly.
Because, again, we’re 'Making KeyArena Great Again.' This goes beyond political affiliations guys. Again, say it with me: 'Mr. Mayor, and all the councilmembers (especially you, Kshama Sawant), Let’s Make KeyArena...Great Again!”
How'd I do?