Monday, April 24, 2006

History of Seattle's arena problems

Really interesting article on Seattle's Key Arena and the terrible lease deal the Sonics have.
Decade-old deal bungles talks for revamped KeyArena

It's terrible because it is detrimental to both the team and the city. The team doesn't get enough revenue from luxury boxes, ticket sales and naming rights.

The bond for the 1995 renovations is supposed to be paid for with arena revenues from ticket sales, etc. The first four years the city received a surplus. Since the 1999 NBA lockout, the city has had to cover debt costs out of the general fund.

See, terrible for both sides.

Still curious to see how this plays out.

The team is probably for sale and basketball hasn't been very successful in the Pacific Northwest, unless you are a Gonzaga fan. However, as I will always say. It is not the FAN's FAULT if a team fails.

It is the OWNER'S FAULT or the LEAGUE'S FAULT.

Both cities (Portland and Seattle) have a rich hoops tradition that has produced thrills, championships and sold-out buildings. If the NBA fails here, it can fail most anywhere. That is a prospect that should scare the hell out of the shareholders (NBA owners), not because of what fans in the Northwest might think, but because it diminishes the value of their investments.

The North American market has reached its saturation point for cash-ravenous pro sports teams. There are few, if any, new cities that are worth the risk for an NBA that is floundering where it flourished.

Even Oklahoma City, which has responded well as a rental home for the orphaned New Orleans Hornets, doesn't have the population or the corporate base to sustain long term an NBA payroll.

Neither is KC. The NBA doesn't have the "cost-certainty" of the hard-cap NHL.

However, there seems to be a much better chance that the Sonics or Blazers move to KC than the Penguins. Portland and Seattle's arena problems are in flux, Pittsburgh's seems to have settled.

Nick Collison plays for Seattle. He would be an instant draw for half of the basketball fans in KC (Mizzou fans would probably still boo him.)

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