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January 18, 2007

Should The Sonics Get A Cut Of The Surplus?

The Shameless Sonics, having already had their outstretched hand slapped back (hard!) by the voters of Seattle, are now waving their (gold-plated) begging cup at the State Legislature, asking for $300 million from Olympia for a new arena.

It's true we've got a surplus.  But I should hope we'd be spending that money on things that actually matter, like education, transportation, health care, etc. 

If the Sonics can't be a sustainable business enterprise without hundreds of millions in state subsidies, perhaps they should just go out of business.  They wouldn't be missed much.

Posted by Jon Stahl on January 18, 2007 at 07:47 PM in Policy | Permalink


Well, considering that the WA State Constitution restricts giving a tax break to only one company, I'm not sure how the legislature and the governor will get around it. Not that Gary Locke had any crisis of conscience when he gave away the bank to Boeing a few years ago! but the public has gotten much smarter and much more aggressive about fighting back. The overwhelming support for I-91 is the clear example of that. I would only hope that the legislature has become smarter about it too. Although I'm pretty convinced that Margarita Prentice can be written off as not smart, not ethical, and not responsive to the will of the voters.

Posted by: shoephone | Jan 19, 2007 12:50:20 AM

Some of us remember how Safeco Field came to be over the vote of the people - how control of a number of Public Relation firms delivered Qwest Stadium - how the Sonics were awarded a to be named Key Arena stripped to a skeleton to provide a then State of the Art home - how the electorate's plea to end the Iraq occupation in the 2006 election has resulted in an increase of our best and finest being sent to Iraq -

It has been argued convincingly that we should take a small fraction of the $300 million and spend it on youth sports. The remainder could then be used for health care, education, hunger issues and warm places for our homeless. Believe it or not success in these areas may contribute more to the success of our citizens and our economy then the values attributed to professional sports. After all, Howard can explain to us the economic difficulties associated with
professional sports ownership.

Ironically, if this new direction came to be, none of the efforts would be included in our leaders legacy, and they would be remembered as the politicians who caused one of the largest metropolitan areas to exist without a basketball team. Woe be our values!


Posted by: Jack Smith | Jan 19, 2007 10:31:02 PM

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