Gary Washburn has a good editorial in today's Seattle PI. He gives some history, including other teams around the country that have decided that they are too good for their communities, and have pulled up their roots and left town. And I really like his language. Does Seattle need a Lexus arena? Especially if the Seattle taxpayers will be paying for it, do we want a third sports venue?
I have some other questions as well. Questions I can't answer because I really am not interested in Sports except for their cultural value. I do think they're important, don't get me wrong. But I don't follow the teams, except to root for the home team when I hear good news or shake my head when I hear bad news.
How many of the players in the Sonics or Storm teams grew up in the Seattle area? What about the Mariners or Seahawks? Given how far afield we go to find players that can help the team win, can we really say that these are community teams? How many of these players come from the minor leagues? Where ARE the minor league Football or Basketball teams? I know we have the Everett Aquasocks for Baseball, and probably some others that might play every once in a while, but they get almost no promotion to the general community, at least not that I can see. Make these teams community based and open up their "clubs" to investment by people like me, and they'll get more support than they can possibly imagine.
About these players, how much money do they make per season? Talk about a Lexus, some of these players that the media crows about make hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts that guarentee that any child they have can pay for the most expensive colleges on the planet, along with the biggest house, whatever model of Lexus they want to drive, etc. These players are not average folk. They're the elite, and they seem to know it. Do I know them? No. I haven't seen one of them show up to any of the meetings that I attend while trying to make the world a better place. They might get my respect if they did.
Is #350 million dollars for teams that have consistently lost money a good price? That's what Clay Bennett and his cronies from Oklahoma City paid Howard Schultz and the "Baseball Club of Seattle" to take control of the team. Does Mr. Bennett care about Seattle? Does he love this city so much, or is he just making an investment above the heads of 99.99% of the people in this country? "We are very bullish on the NBA and its future." ([source]) They're impressed with the marketplace. They're approaching this as a business. Oh, and they want to give the fans value. Isn't that nice. I don't believe him.
They're demanding that the people of Seattle help pay for a new stadium. I'm still supporting I-91. If Mr. Bennett wants to approach this team like a business, I wonder if he could make something called a "profit" from ticket sales and marketing, and give Seattle something to really be proud of. Right now, we have a lemon that wants a Lexus.