Tag Archives: Seattle Arena

Where There’s A Wheel, There’s A Way (or, Overcoming Doubts About An Arena, a True Underdog Story)

Seattle has a knack for approving stupid municipal projects. It’s basically our forte. Take, for instance, the Great Wheel. The Great Wheel, for those of you who don’t know, is a brand new Ferris wheel located on Seattle’s Pier 57. It’s huge and it’s stupid.

Sure, the Great Wheel might very well be a lot of fun. I suppose if you’ve spent the $13 — yes, THIRTEEN American dollars — to ride the Wheel, you’ll probably enjoy your trip up and around its axis. But for the rest of us, the Wheel serves as an example of this city’s utter idiocy when it comes to making decisions.

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The Official Seattle Sportsnet Arena Poll

There has been a lot of misinformation surrounding the general public sentiment towards Chris Hansen’s Seattle arena project. Much of that misinformation has stemmed from poorly-worded and what many consider to be biased — yes, biased — polls.

To clear up any confusion, we here at Seattle Sportsnet have decided to issue a poll of our own. We want to see how local citizens really feel about this new arena that could one day house our beloved Supersonics, as well as an NHL team, concerts, conventions, other sporting events, parties, and other fun things that make life worth living.

This is a simple poll. It’s multiple choice. You can either vote “Yes” or “No.” It’s that easy. Here you go:

Why The Mariners Are Being Dickheads About The New SODO Arena

Read the Mariners’ letter expressing concern over the new SODO arena.

The Mariners don’t want Chris Hansen to build a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art arena — an arena that is ultimately destined to house both an NBA and an NHL team — in their backyard. Unfortunately for the Mariners, Hansen has already purchased land immediately south of Safeco Field, in the heart of Seattle’s SODO district. Hansen also has the blessing of the City of Seattle and King County in building his arena, as well as public backing from Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine. So to say the odds are stacked against the Mariners wouldn’t be inaccurate.

Why the Mariners have chosen to issue a letter to the aforementioned parties expressing concern over the proposed site of the arena makes sense from a business perspective, but is absolutely idiotic from a marketing and positioning (i.e. Public Relations) standpoint. Why? Good question. I’ll do my best to answer that.

But first, let me just state the obvious. The Mariners are f**king dickheads. They’ve been dickheads for quite some time. It’s evident in the way they’ve treated their fan base for so many years. For every positive, there are two negatives. “Hey, guess what, guys?! Instead of landing that free agent that would put us over the top, we reinvested in our Nintendo gaming stations and promotional bobbleheads. Enjoy the crap out of that shit!” F**king f**ks. We’re not f**king short-bus riders, you douchebags. Stop treating us like we lack the mental capacity to understand what you’re doing. It’s cheaper to pour a couple thousand dollars into a tiny wooden statue built in Ichiro’s likeness than it is to go out and sign Prince F**kin’ Fielder, we f**kin’ get it. Don’t f**kin’ lie to us to make up for it. F**k.

That said, the M’s organization is full of good businessmen. The thing about good businessmen is that they’re savvy. The Mariners are savvy enough to have put a fence around the SODO area and absolutely owned that shit since moving to Safeco Field in 1999. You know why there aren’t too many bars in SODO? Because of the Mariners. You know why restaurants aren’t zoned in SODO? The Mariners. You know why SODO is still a boring-as-shit neighborhood? The motherf**king Mariners. And do you know why the Mariners have made SODO that way? Because they want fans to focus solely on the concessions inside their own venue. They don’t want people going over to Pyramid, for example, and spending money. No, they want fans to drop $9 on a domestic light beer in The ‘Pen. It’s a business move. A short-sighted business move, but a business move nonetheless.

You can see why, from a business perspective, the Mariners’ thinking isn’t too stupid. If fans have nowhere else to go, they’ll end up inside the gates of Safeco two hours before first pitch pounding costly Bud Lights. Makes sense, right? Well, it WOULD make sense if the team were winning and had an absolute foothold in the area, but that isn’t happening. Which is why I say this line of thinking is so ridiculously short-sighted.

Take a look at a city like Boston, for example. The area around Fenway Park is thriving with establishments that have no affiliation with the Red Sox organization. These establishments essentially profit off the Red Sox, however, because of all the fans who frequent the area for games. Aside from having a winning product on the field, why do fans come to games and in turn frequent the area? Because of the gameday experience. The gameday experience in Boston is second-to-none, which is why people go. Even if fans can’t get a ticket into Fenway, they’ll head to Yawkey Way to absorb the ambiance and enjoy life. Worst case scenario, they pony up at a bar one Kevin Youkilis home run away from the Green Monster. Not a bad consolation prize, right?

The Mariners don’t see it that way, though. They see competing establishments as a gigantic threat to their revenue. Have they even considered the gameday experience outside their gates? Not really. They lack that intuition. They’re naive. But do we really expect anything different? This is an organization that has mitigated the future for failed playoff runs time and time again. Their lack of commitment to the gameday experience surrounding Safeco is essentially the short-sighted equivalent of dealing Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb. To them, fans are only worth a damn if they’re locked up inside the palatial prison that Safeco Field has become. As soon as fans step outside those turnstiles? F**k ’em.

So what does all this have to do with their concerns over Hansen’s new arena? Frankly, they don’t want a competitor like Hansen (et al) to have any say in what goes on in SODO. This isn’t a parking concern, or a traffic concern, or any of the other bullshit outlined in that letter you all had the pleasure of reading. This is a concern over another influencer in the vicinity. It’s like when motherf**king Kirk McCray moved in on Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold had his influence on that smokin’ hot babe reduced as a result. Before Kirk McCray, Kevin was the man. THE MAN! After Kirk McCray? Well, Kevin wasn’t nearly as important as he used to be. The Mariners don’t want Chris Hansen and his arena to be their Kirk McCray. And SODO is their Winnie. They own that shit right now. They want to keep it that way.

(Side note: That’s a Wonder Years reference for those of you completely in the dark on that analogy.)

If you’re a Seattle sports fan, this is some bullshit. The Mariners are trying to control your destiny for their own sake. They’ve owned you for 35 years and they want to keep owning you from now until forever. I love that team, but I hate the organization. You can separate one entity from the other. It’s okay to do that. Don’t be blinded by their rhetoric. They’re messing with you, me, and every other fan out there. For the first time, they just happened to cross a line of common decency (a line they were always treading, by the way) in threatening an arena that would all but guarantee the return of the Sonics — OUR SONICS! — to their rightful place in this world of ours.

We could handle it before. The zoning BS. The lack of bars, restaurants, and any discernible gameday experience. The losing product that has plagued us for more than a decade (with two decades of collateral from their conception to back that, no less). But trying to block a do-gooder from doing good for all of us fans? You’re just slapping us in the f**king face at this point, you jerks. You just tore up our schedule, kicked us out of History, and sent us straight to the Ridgemont High principal’s office. In the paraphrased words of Jeff Spicoli, You dicks. You loathsome, jackass, worthless, unsuccessful dicks.

Leave us the hell alone. Back the f**k off. And let Chris Hansen build his arena. For us. The fans. The people you should be looking out for.

Understanding The Economics of Seattle’s New Arena Using the Analogy of Pimping

Imagine, for a minute, that I am a pimp boss. I run this town. I oversee all the pimps on these streets and offer them my protection. I also coordinate their hos. Here ho, go to this pimp, he’ll treat you real nice. That’s how I do it.

Now imagine that you are my top pimp. You’re damn good at what you do. You take your hos out to the track on Pacific Highway South and pull in thousands of dollars every single night. I don’t know how you do it, I just know that I get my biggest cut from you, so in turn, I like you. We get along, you and I. I’m a fan of yours. You’re good to me, I’m good to you, it works.

Now let’s pretend that we just got this new chick. She’s fine. Real fine. She probably shouldn’t be doing this, but we don’t tell her that. This girl could be a model if she wanted to be. But for some reason she wants to turn tricks. So whatever, it’s cool. We can help her out. We’ll call her Brandy.

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The Lovingly Incensed Fan Base of the Seattle Supersonics

The NBA likes to pretend we don’t exist. That we don’t care about them and as a result they, in turn, don’t have to care about us. Seattle? Where’s Seattle? Is that a village or something? What is that?

We had our basketball team stolen from us and relocated a thousand miles away in the middle of God-knows-where. That was bad enough, certainly. But it was made worse by the fact that we were repeatedly slandered after the pillaging. That the thieves made off with our prized possession, then tried to convince the masses that we didn’t care about being hijacked. Seattle fans are apathetic, they said. Seattle fans don’t deserve our product. Seattle fans haven’t been showing up to games, or cheering for their team, or even giving a damn about what happens on the court with their Sonics. Seattle fans weren’t good enough, they claimed.

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