Support the Key Arena Rebuild
Seattle’s mayor nickels is making this much harder than it needs to be:
You could practically hear the clank in Olympia on Monday after Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels asked leading state Democrats to endorse a hypothetical tax package to fund the $220 million KeyArena renovation the Sonics are demanding, a proposal the city essentially rejected more than six weeks ago.
“Before sitting down again with the team and negotiating, we must be assured that we have the full support of the governor and the leadership of the state Legislature to negotiate a package that includes up to $220 million for a KeyArena remodel, pays off the existing debt (of $58 million), and allocates funding for the arts,” Nickels said in a letter to Gov. Christine Gregoire and Democratic legislative leaders Friday.
Yes, much too hard.
Let’s support the Sonics, let’s rebuild Key Arena. Let’s also apply the taxes exactly where they need to be except that they do not need to be taxes at all. Nope, no taxes. The funds must come from ticket, advertising and ancilliary revenues directly related to the Sonics and other uses of Key Arena. That $220 million can be paid off over 30 years with 6 % interest at about $22/ticket increase (assume 17,000/game over 42 games). To the extent that increased revenues from other events can help with the payoff then the Sonic ticket prices can be reduced.
Any method of paying for this that does not put the costs on the direct users is not acceptable. The Sonics and the mayor have no legitmate call on your or my pocketbook beyond providing a product or service that we are willing to voluntarily pay for.