Is anyone really surprised by the Seattle Mariners attempt to try and stop the Chris Hansen led arena from being put up in their backyard?
On the surface as it appears to the Seattle sports fan like the Mariners are playing the role of that spoiled kid in the sandbox who only likes it if the sandbox is empty. If a couple of kids come inside the box, the Mariners will get angry and kick sand in their faces. When more kids show up to play, the Mariners run into the corner and hide.
It was interesting to read the letter by Mariners CFO Howard Lincoln that was sent to Mayor Mike McGinn’s and King County Executive Dow Constantine’s office because these are more then just surface gripes.
The Mariners do bring up valid concerns.
Specifically in regards to the traffic issues in and around Safeco Field. Anyone that has attended an event in Seattle’s stadium district can attest to that area before and after games being an absolute mess.
Especially right in the First Avenue and Edgar Martinez way corridor.
Lincoln was correct by saying that a new traffic infrastructure would have to be in place to alleviate a continued problem.
Where Lincoln was wrong was to say the infrastructure would cost “hundreds of millions of dollars”.
As much as those “hundreds of millions” of dollars sounds like they were pulled off of a random computer screen, the area is zoned for stadium placement. So no matter how many stadiums/arenas are in the stadium district, no matter how much money is thrown at the traffic infrastructure, there will always be be traffic.
Somehow, someway, somebody will be inconvenienced. Right now the Mariners are felling inconvenienced.
The Mariners are operating a “for profit” business.
Meaning, they have every right to protect their business interests, and quite frankly they should. Take a deep breath, and put yourself in their situation.
The Mariners have lost 1,644,161 fans since their attendance peak of 3, 540,482 in 2002 (1st to 23rd). Not only have the Sounders FC pulled some of their fan base away, now potentially two new franchises could be moving in your backyard?
Excuse me, as a business your going to protect every avenue to secure your entertainment dollar.
This happens with every business that has ever operated for profit.
What I find somewhat amusing is that fans are actually concerned like the Mariners have the power to stop a deal of this magnitude. This morning Mayor Mike McGinn, on local news, said (paraphrasing) he understands the concerns of the Mariners and understands problems that lay in the construction of a new arena.
He would work with the Mariners in trying alleviate their concerns, but with an investment to the City of Seattle that could be close to a billion dollars, he, along with the rest of the city counsel members that make up the arena advisory panel, are committed to bringing the Sonics back to Seattle.
I understand how the Mariners come off looking like with this letter, but they and longshoreman that operate the Port of Seattle cannot create enough opposition to sink this deal.
The money is too great.
By my calculations, (Arena cost, overruns, team price tag, leagues relocation fee) Hansen stands to invest $795,000,000 in the City just on the NBA side of the deal.
When you look at the economy of the City and the details of how the arena will operate, Mayor McGinn will not allow anyone disrupt this type economic influx into his city.
Most everyone who knows me knows how much I love the Seattle Mariners and how much I try and stand up for the franchise, but even I will admit this letter will leave egg all over the face of Mariners brass.
I can fully understand their intent, but the Mariners should do everything to retract this letter and get ready for Opening Day.
For the record. My initial reaction to all this latest news was.
Hope you enjoyed this analysis. Feel free to also read “Q”‘s take on the “letter” from earlier today here. (Sodo not the right location for new teams? #thingsthatmakemegohmmmm)
Please post any reaction and comments below in the section called DISQUS.