For this sports fan, the clock’s run out on big public subsidies

I remember when it happened.

It was the fall of ’04. In the P-I was a puff piece about Mariners players and how they were going to vote in the presidential election. No surprise, as the team favored Bush by a large margin. Mariners second baseman Bret Boone was quoted saying this:

“I wouldn’t say I’m a hard-core conservative, but I don’t like a lot of Democratic views,” second baseman Bret Boone said. “I don’t like big government. I like small government.”

Considering Boone’s former workplace, Safeco Field, is a publicly funded facility, you have to ask: was this guy hit in the head a few too many times? Does he understand that a “big government” handout provided him a means to make a salary? What a goof!

So, that’s “when it happened,” or in other words, when I stopped supporting government subsidies for professional sports.

It wasn’t always that way for me. I supported the Mariners and the Seahawks in their effort to build new stadiums. After all, the Kingdome was a dump. It was an awful place to watch baseball. For football, it was only slightly better than Memorial Stadium. I felt the argument could be made that they needed new digs. I also believed, erroneously it turned out, that pro sports were a boost to the economy. In any case, I like baseball and football, so who cares, right?

The Sonics were too busy winning during the 90’s to worry about asking for public money for a new stadium. Still, in 1996, they got one. Key Arena opened, with all the idiots in City Hall and the newspapers talking about how great it was that an arena could be financed so “creatively.” Turns out it was a bunch of bullshit, and that the Sonics couldn’t keep making payments out of their luxury boxes because, well, they couldn’t sell many of them at Sonics home games. See, the deal was that the Sonics would pay rent from revenues produced trough selling certain amenities at Key Arena like luxury boxes. This worked well during the “Reign Man” and “The Glove” era. Boxes are easy to sell when the team is winning. But when the team started sucking, new ownership, in the form of coffee dork Howard Schultz, wanted out of the deal.

Schultz saw how much money was being made around the NBA by owners with teams in pimped-out, ultra-modern facilities. Howard also wanted the revenue earned by the arena when the Sonics weren’t even playing (like a Paul McCartney concert, or a comic book convention, or whatever). Other owners in other cities were able to sweet talk government into paying for these arenas, making them even more profitable for ownership. (Read lots more about the reality of pro basketball stadiums here)

When Schultz went to Olympia to get his money for a new building, he was turned down, and went home in a huff. He and his group sold out to Oklahoma City business folks headed by Clay Bennett. I don’t hold any ill will against Bennett for buying the team and subsequently doing his best to get public money to build an arena in Renton or Bellevue, but I still don’t want to give it to him. I’m not of the same mind as Goldy; I don’t think that a dollar used to refurbish a stadium is necessarily a dollar taken out of a Washington state classroom, but it’s starting to feel that way. When Rep. Ross Hunter rules out any kind of state income tax on election night while some government leaders are jumping out of their skins at the chance to fork over public dough to sports teams (hello, Sen. Margarita Prentice!), a guy can get a little pissed off.

Here’s the new plan. Until the NBA can fix it’s business model, no public dough. If it means the Sonics are gone to OKC, that that’s a-OK with me. Oklahoma City is dying for a team (they wanted to keep the New Orleans Hornets, but they flew home after the flood). Let them have the headache of pro sports. I’m finished with assholes likes David Stern who come into our house trying to shake us down for cash. Fuck him. If the NBA can do without Seattle, then Seattle can do without the NBA. Same goes for those NASCAR guys. Until their plan for a speedway in Kitsap County looks less like a pyramid scheme and more like a good investment, no money should be spent.

If we’re going to subsidize sports, let’s put some cash into Chehalis’ rodeo park (whatever the fuck that is). Let’s build that hockey venue in Kent so the Seattle Thunderbirds can ditch the Key Arena, which has always sucked for hockey. We should fix up baseball stadiums in Yakima and Spokane. Pierce County and Tacoma should look into a new ballpark, with the State Legislature chipping in. How about a new ballpark right down by the water, near downtown? We could extend that dope streetcar right to the ballpark. Tacoma folks, chime in and tell me what’s what.

Our leaders should never close the door to investing in sports, but we’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Let’s say “no” to whoring ourselves to the NBA and say “yes” to our minor league teams and the cities that host them. At twenty bucks for a family of four, Tacoma Rainiers baseball at Cheney Stadium is a mighty fine deal. That’s where I’ll be this spring. With a cold one, of course.


  1. 1

    Bill the Ump spews:

    It’s not ‘whoring’, but don’t get me going. Your premise seems to be that (very) minor league sports are equal to top-o-the-line major league sports. Dumb premise. But don’t get me going. At least get the verifiable facts right. It’s David Stern, not the guy beheaded in Iraq.

  2. 2

    MtRainier spews:

    What have we got from the Sonics? Back to back championship appearances when I was a kid against the Bullets and not much more. Let the owners figure out their own ways of financing their major league business. If they can afford to pay the millions to be in the big league, they should figure out a way to pay for their own stadiums/arenas without handouts from the taxpayers.

  3. 3

    Will spews:

    Fixed the Stern part. (oh yeah, the guy killed in Pakistan is Daniel Pearl. Daniel Stern is the actor from Breakign Away and Home Alone)

    Where did I “equate” minor league sports with the majors?

  4. 4

    rob spews:

    I have tried hard to understand liberal logic and have come to the conclusion that there isn’t any. Whoever “Will” is decided he would stop funding sports arenas because (god forbid a baseball player was a republican) Not just any baseball player but one that was well respected in the area. Will also seems to believe that all the minor league players are democrats I guess or why else fund them? Yes all those young men from rural areas who were more interested in sports than being goth or…liberal. They are going to magically turn into liberals for “will” and his family of 4. I mean everyone knows they don’t become conservatives until they go to the big show, right Will?

    Libtard logic=oxymoron.

    Of course if Will wasn’t really a hypocrite he would be calling for the Seahawks and Mariners to clear town as well. With alittle work you could turn the stadiums into homeless shelters or how about schools? The two stadiums could replace all the schools that are being shut down for lack of students. If there was an overflow from the homeless or students you could house them in all the businesses that would be shut down.

    Of course what “Will” fails to point out is that there are cities all over America and some in Canada that would love all 4 of our professional teams. Cities compete for the teams by offering things like STADIUMS. Of course another thing “Will” fails to mention is that most cities are managed by LIBERALS.

  5. 5

    Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

    The Seahawks franchise value has appreciated $500M since Paul Allen bought them. The Producers gave him $600M for that fucking stadium.

    When he eventually sells the franchise, I think it would be decent of him to refund the taxpayers every fucking penny that we gave him, and he can keep whatever is left over.

    Sonics owners can go fuck themselves. Take that shit to OK. Unless of course the girlz declare another fucking “emergency”.

  6. 6

    sgmmac spews:

    You don’t have to worry about the minor league baseball teams. Gregoire put their stadium monies in her budget!

  7. 7

    Goldy spews:

    “rob” at 4,

    Will was criticizing Boone for being the head-up-his-ass hypocrite that he clearly was. He railed against big government, and yet his extravagant salary was clearly being paid for in part from pumped up revenues that came for a huge public subsidy that built Safeco field. It’s “big government” that helps make these athletes so rich.

    All the more reason I say, that if we’re going to have government subsidize yet another sports venue, it should be paid for via a tax on the income of visiting athletes. 20 other states have a “jock tax”, and our player pay it on nearly every away game. Why shouldn’t we have a jock tax too?

  8. 8

    rob spews:

    RE: 7. Goldy, I believe that Boone’s salary was a result of his athletic ability and if he didn’t get it here he would have in some other city. Your premise that his salary was a result of big government is just wrong. See my comment on liberal logic.

    Do you truly believe that cities are building these stadiums to make atheletes rich? Maybe they build them because they are in fact good for the economey. How much exactly does 3 hours of prime time TV advertising your city each week cost again and that is just one team.

    If you believe your city fathers are idiots elect new ones and turn the stadiums into homeless shelters. Instead you attack a baseball player because he is a repbulican.

  9. 10

    My Left Foot spews:

    The steroids must have affected Boone’s brain the same way coming off them affected his ability to play. Hence his conservative bent.

    (Did I make that clear enough. Boonie was juicing).

  10. 11

    Goldy spews:

    rob at 8,

    Teams could not pay these salaries if they didn’t have the revenues, and the revenues are being subsidized by taxpayer money. Yes Boone could have gotten the money elsewhere… from a team being subsidized with taxpayer money.

    It’s just plain silly to remove stadium economics from the equation when analyzing player salaries.

  11. 13

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    rob @ 4:

    In your message, you demonstrate extraordinarily poor reading comprehension. You put the teeth in the John Stuart Mill quotation that while the majority of conservatives are not stupid people, the majority of stupid people are conservatives.

    A baseball player says he’s against big government and in favor of small government. He doesn’t like the fact that the government is in the business of distributing handouts with tax money.

    That’s a perfectly valid opinion for a plumber, a stockbroker, or a small (or even large) business owner in a number of sectors to have. It’s not one I agree with, but different people think differently, which is what makes life interesting.

    Major league sports are only viable BECAUSE of government handouts. They thrive on them, they demand them, and they say if they don’t get them, they have to pack up and leave. For a (well-compensated) member of this profession to state opposition to government handouts is either the height of irony, or it indicates that he doesn’t have the slightest idea how the business that he’s in actually works. I suspect the latter.

    Baseball players are not a notoriously intellectual lot, and reporters should stick to asking questions about the game or the team which they are somewhat competent to answer.

    The real question you should be asking about sports subsidies is not how ballplayers vote (who cares?) It is not whether subsidies are common (they are) You should be asking is this a good use of tax money?

    Cases can be made for subsidies in a lot of industries being positive. An auto plant creates thousands of jobs, and brings money from elsewhere into the local economy, both in the form of direct investment and in the form of revenue from the sale of autos to other places.

    A sports team creates a few hundred jobs, and takes money that would otherwise be elsewhere in the local economy and … puts it back into that local economy (honestly, how many people come from out-of-town just to see a basketball game?)

    Subsidizing this seems to be a no-gain proposition at best, and a scam for lining the pockets of a few with the funds of the many at worst.

  12. 14

    rob spews:

    11. Goldy, teams didn’t start paying these salaries until they raised their ticket prices along with salaries. See Will bitching about ticket prices. You seem happy to focus on player slaries and ignore the other economic benefits of having sports teams in the city.

    I thought you liberals were pro union?

  13. 15

    rob spews:

    RE: 13. (honestly, how many people come from out-of-town just to see a basketball game?)

    Maybe when you are done with your condesending rhetoric you could look at I 90 or 520 before and after a sporting event in Seattle lunatic.

  14. 16

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    More wisdom from rob @ 4:

    Of course another thing “Will” fails to mention is that most cities are managed by LIBERALS.

    Cities are inhabited by liberals. Politicians in cities have to get votes from liberals. It’s obvious you do not live in, have contact with, or understand the machinations of how a big city works. Big city pols get votes from liberals. They get funded by the business owners in the cities they manage, who are a notoriously illiberal lot. The latters interests matter a lot more than the former. When urban voters get shat on, they tend to vote for you anyhow (see Greg Nickels). When businessmen get shat on, they will bankroll your opposition (and create him or her if she doesn’t already exist), or pull their money out and turn out the lights ala Detroit.

  15. 17

    rob spews:

    Re: 16, thanks for making my point liberal. You elected the people who built the stadiums. I guess I should have just stated it like that in the first place for the learning impaired.

  16. 18

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    rob @ 15:

    I’ll ignore your little barbs about how stupid liberals are and assume you’re not man enough to take it in return.

    On to your point. You’re moving boxes around. Bellevue and Redmond are not “out-of-town”. It’s the same pile of money. If it wasn’t spend on sports, it would be spent in restaurants, cars, concerts, or whatever other distractions are going on.

    Some people come from out-of-town (NOT the Puget Sound) to catch a game. If this is 10% of the tickets sold, I’d be surprised. Morever, if the number of those people who flew in from Boston or San Francisco to catch the game was more than low-single digits, I’d be REALLY surprised.

    Likewise, if the Sonics move to Oklahoma city, very few fans are going to fly out there to see them.

    Strange, I thought conservatives understood economics. It’s supposed to be y’alls strong point.

  17. 19

    rob spews:

    18: Sorry but the people in Bellevue and beyond aren’t paying for your stadium. The poeple in Seattle are in hopes that the people from Bellevue and beyond will come visit and help pay for it which they do. Of course being a big city guy like you are I thought you would have realized that it isn’t the “same pile of money”.

  18. 22

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    skagit @ 20:

    If I want informed debates with intelligent people, I argue with my friends over beer.

    If I want to blow off steam, I come here.

    Thanks for asking though.

  19. 23

    rob spews:

    22. this is coming from the guy who believes that the eastside is paying the taxes for Seattle Sports Venues.

  20. 24

    rob spews:

    23: that being said I come here for the same reason you do. Just wondering if there is any reason to the rhetoric of the left. I haven’t found it yet though.

  21. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    4 rob says: I have tried hard to understand liberal logic and have come to the conclusion that there isn’t any.

    I’ll bet you don’t understand quantum mechanics either, but that doesn’t mean q.m. is bunk. The problem is your comprehension, not that of the physicists who try to explain it.

  22. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    5 You mean Paul Allen actually made money on one of his business ventures since Microsoft? That would be a first for him.

  23. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    8 Maybe they build them because they are in fact good for the economey.

    Prove it. But first, learn how to spell “economy.” Then open an economics textbook and read it. Then come back and try to refute all the studies that show these stadiums make money for no one except the owners and players.

  24. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    12 Nothing you say is true. Like many wingnuts, you peel shit off the wall and try to pass it off as fact, just as you try to pass yourself off as someone who has something to say. Not.

  25. 29

    rob spews:

    25: So you are saying that liberals make policy by using quantum mechanics? How doe that relate to Boone again?

    Oh and you are right, I don’t understand quantum mechanics anymore than you do.

  26. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Let me spell it out for you, rob. Bret Boone complaining about government handouts is like a truck driver complaining about government building roads.

  27. 31

    rob spews:

    27: see the last paragraph in 8, you liberals elected the guys that built your new stadiums. I didn’t.

  28. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    29 No, dumbass, I’m saying you’re too stupid to understand what a liberal is, much less what a liberal believes, much less how a liberal arrives at his policy positions, much less the factual and analytical complexities underlying those positions. Your brain can’t process anything deeper than a bumper sticker.

  29. 34

    rob spews:

    Re: 30. In case you haven’t realized it the truckers pay alot for roads through fuel tax. They don’t complain about not enough roads idiot, they complain about the lack of them because their money goes to the monorail. Oh there is no monorail is there?

  30. 35

    rob spews:

    RE: 32, I already admited that I have no clue what liberals believe and that there is no logic to what they believe. Now tell me again what that has to do with quantum mechanics libtard?

  31. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    31 That’s a mighty categorical statement, rob. It’s certainly not true that only Democratic politicians back public funding of sports facilities — not even here, much less across the nation. The guy who pushed the Kingdome was none other than Republican county executive John Spellman.

  32. 39

    rob spews:

    36: are you a total idiot. The county isn’t paying the taxes on the stadiums libtard. The City of Seattle is.

  33. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Would love to butt heads with you all night, rob, but I’m having surgery in the morning so I have to get some shut-eye. Later, wingfuck. Don’t poison yourself with the kool-aid. If I survive the operation, I’ll be back tomorrow night, all doped up on anesthesia. If I don’t, I’d like to leave you with this thought to remember me by: Fuck you!

  34. 44

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    rob @ 23:

    Some of the taxes come from the Eastside, most don’t. That’s not the point.

    Let me run this by you nice and slow.

    If a Toyota plant gets set up in Huntsville, AL (with generous tax subsidies), and I decide to be a virtuous liberal and buy a Prius, about $5,000 winds up in the Huntsville economy in the form of wages, etc. That $5,000 was not there before. It is new money coming into the economy, which provides jobs, tax revenues, spin-off revenue(because plant employees buy groceries, use services, etc.)

    If Huntsville decides not to subsidize that plant, and it winds up in Ontario instead, that $5,000 goes to Ontario. There is real money on the table and where that money goes is not abstract.

    Now, on to sports.

    It’s Friday night, I want to go out and have fun, and I have $200 burning a hole in my pocket. Right now, one of the things I can do with that $200 is to buy a couple of Sonics tix.

    If the Sonics move to Oklahoma City, the chances my $200 are going to follow them there is pretty close to zero. I guess I could watch a Sonics game there out of nostaliga if I was in town, but I’m not catching a plane to see the game.

    I will take my $200, and instead spend it on the opera, drinking Scotch, taking my wife out to dinner, buying Pearl Jam tickets, or huffing lines of blow off a whore’s ass.
    (the last one is more like a $600-800 spend, but we’ll ignore that)

    The quantity of REAL MONEY that comes into the Puget Sound area because there are sports teams here is really low.

    The quantity of REAL MONEY that will leave the area if the teams leave is also really low.

    Is there any part of that which didn’t make sense to you?

  35. 45

    rob spews:

    Re 44: jsa on commercial drive says:

    Is there any part of that which didn’t make sense to you?

    Yes, let me take it nice and slow for you. I live in Kirkland. I don’t have to drive to Seattle to take my wife out to dinner, I hate the opera and I don’t sniff blow off a whores ass like you do. The point being I don’t need to drive to Seattle.

    Is there something about that you don’t understand?

  36. 46

    rob spews:

    44: you see what you fail to understand is that the “puget sound” is not paying taxes for or does it enjoy the economic benifits that Seattle does for sports arenas. Those of us that don’t live in Seattle like to go to the games and we are happy to leave our money in Seattle. You seem to believe that this is some regional burden/benefit and you are wrong.

    The only benefit those outside Seattle has is that we can go to Seattle and enjoy a football, basketball or baseball game for which we pay for.

    I hope that clears it up for you.

  37. 47

    rob spews:

    re: 46. I’m sorry, I know it won’t clear it up for you. You believe that the city of Seattle=The State of Washington.

    You should get skagit to show you around. Skagit is afterall (i could get this wrong) wind, river and indian tribes.

  38. 48

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    Again, you’re drawing boxes.

    I’m glad you like to drive over to Seattle to catch the game. I don’t want to pay for it.

    Where is the value-add of having a sports team that makes it worth having a tax subsidy? No new money is coming into the economy because of this. You’d have your pile over in Kirkland, I’d have my pile over in Seattle, and if Bellevue wants to offer subsidies so that people will be out past 8 p.m., that’s their perogative, but it’s bad business because it is bringing much less new money into Bellevue than the subsidies are paying for.

  39. 49

    YOS LIB BRO spews:

    I hate the opera and I don’t sniff blow off a whores ass like you do.



  40. 50

    rob spews:

    48: Jsa. I am not an economic expert on sports teams, I just know that every city in the United States wants one. I have said earlier in this post that if you believe the people you elected are idiots, replace them and turn the stadiums into homeless shelters.

    You are wrong about moving boxes. I used to work downtown and I spent alot of money there when I did. I don’t anymore. I do spend alot of money when I go to Seattle for something I can’t get here in Kirkland. I have news for you, it isn’t the opera, dinner or blow of a whores ass. Now what does that leave? Sports or concerts, both of which require a venue although I wouldn’t walk accross the street to hear Pearl Jam. I enjoyed them at the firehouse before they became famous but not now.

  41. 51

    My Left Foot spews:

    Rob is giving me a headache. Nothing he says stands up under the light of day. He goes around in circles, chasing his tail.

    I am just dizzy from reading his horseshit. (I use that term at the risk of giving horseshit a bad name).

    Note to Roger Rabbit:

    Get well soon, bunny. Stefans yard won’t look so good without you crapping on it regularly.

  42. 52


    So, in regards to my mention of a new baseball stadium in Tacoma… does anyone have any ideas? Any Tacoma folks out there?

  43. 53

    rob spews:

    49: Sorry LOS STERILE LIBTARD, I didn’t know that liking the opera and sniffing blow off a whores ass was a requirement.

  44. 56

    rob spews:

    Did you know that I heard that Christine Gregoire is a Crack Whore. I have no proof of it but I am still going to tell you what I heard. Just like “My Left Foot” spreads vicious unsubstantiated rumors about a baseball player. Now there it is, out there on the interwebs.

    You liberals are such a sad lot. For the record I have no reason to believe that Christine Gregoire does crack I also have no reason to believe that she doesn’t and “My left foot” (the worst of the liberal rumor mongers) has no reason to believe that Boone did drugs.

    I put up the Gregoire comment to make “My left foot” look like the idiot he is.

  45. 57

    rob spews:

    Actually I am sure that Boone and his attornies would be interested to know that “My left foot” is certain that Boone is a drug user and has posted it on a fairly famous web site in Seattle. You don’t mind if I cut and paste do you “left foot”?

  46. 58

    YOS LIB BRO spews:





  47. 59

    jsa on commercial drive spews:


    First, that’s cheap. I spend a lot more time outside of Seattle than you spend in it. I have family scattered in literally every corner of this state, and I go visit them frequently. I have clients all over including a few in Kirkland. I am very aware of what the Puget Sound is and the State of Washington and so on. If you want to get into a dick-measuring contest as to who has been here longer and who knows the state better, I will win. Plan on it.

    Second, I’m trying to have a discussion about economics, and you’re throwing cheap shots. You may not ever come into Seattle if there isn’t a game. No skin off my nose. You are literally not giving me or anyone I know in my big extended circle a dime by coming in here.

    Tourism (day tourism, or otherwise) just isn’t a big value-add business. If you don’t believe that, hang out at some places that are heavily tourist-oriented and follow the money. There’s a reason why I’m here, and you’re in Kirkland, and neither of us are in Telluride or Reno or Whistler. Primary industries, be those airplanes, telecom, software, what have you bring in real money and real jobs. Tourism brings in decent money for a few people, and minimum wage (with few opportunities for promotion) for a much bigger number of people below them. Las Vegas kind of functions as a tourist-oriented city. I have never seriously considered taking a job there. Have you?

    This is not a class envy statement about tourism. I’m going off to blow a bundle going skiing for the next few days. It is again, just a question of counting dollars and cents.

    You have a finite quantity of tax dollars which can be used for subsidies. Do you:

    1) Use it to promote development of aerospace, which provides tens of thousands of high-five and low-six figure jobs, while bringing money into the local economy from out of country (especially places like China, Japan, and the Middle East who don’t buy much else from us).

    2) Use it to develop biotech which will bring in direct investment from the global capital markets and provide low-six figure jobs for a few thousand people.

    3) Fix the transport infrastructure so that 20,000 more people a day can get into and out of the downtown core, creating capacity for that many more new jobs.

    4) Use it to pay for stadiums which provide eight-figure jobs for 20 people, six-figure jobs for 200 people, and keep the bartenders, baristas, and waiters of Seattle a wee bit busier than they would already be, while shuffling a lot of money around that would have wound up in Seattle regardless?

    I’d put it in the same pile that I put the parks, the art museum, and stuff like that. Do we need it? Yeah. Does it make the city a nicer place to be? Sure. Should you argue that it is a big money-spinner for the city and worthy of the same sort of tax dollars that are spent on 1, 2 and 3? Fuck no.

  48. 60

    rob spews:

    Thats a pretty damning statement “my left foot” lets hope you have the facts to back it up.

    “My left foot” at # 10

    My Left Foot says:

    The steroids must have affected Boone’s brain the same way coming off them affected his ability to play. Hence his conservative bent.

    (Did I make that clear enough. Boonie was juicing).

    12/28/2006 at 10:17 pm

  49. 61

    rob spews:

    JSA. to start with I have been here 54 years, my family over 150 years. I do have a sister that has a ranch in Telluride however, since you brought it up. As for me giving you or you “big extended circle of friends a dime” Sorry but you are not on my list when I go to Seattle. If you believe the tourism industry is not importent to Seattle please open the phone book and call the thousands of hotels and restaurants and tell them that you have decided that tourism doesn’t matter anymore. Oh about taking a job in tourism, yes i did in high school and my first two years in college, it helped alot.
    Now on to your laundry list.

    1. In case you weren’t here then, when Gary Locke was Governor we did approiate $3 Billion in tax dollars to aerospace.

    2. You must have been here when Greroire appropriated (I can’t rember the exact number) but it was around $300 Million for Biotech.

    3. It seems to me that we just passed the biggest tax increase in the history of the state to fix the infrstructure. It also seems to me that the liberals in Seattle and Olympia can’t quite figure what to do with the money yet.

    4. Like I said, you elected the people who brought you Quest Field and Safco Field. If you have buyers remorse I can’t help you with that.

  50. 62

    bill spews:

    Stop and do th math for a minute. Just pulling random number, admittedly out of my butt, assume the following:

    5 million a year each for 20 people, 100000 each for 200 people and 20000 each for a thousand people. Now as has been pointed out, the highways are jammed both before and after a game, so the numbers who stop and actually spend money is small, and an entire paycheck for anyone not associated with the team is a bit much to attribute, and few of those high salaries are actually spent in Seattle, but lets be generous.

    Now if you assume the city is taking a ridiculous chunk of 10%, over 20 years the city can expect back 240 million on its 500 million investment.

    I say a) let em all go and b) we can probably come up with something more creative than a 500 million homeless shelter, don’t you think?

  51. 63

    rob spews:

    Bill that is up to the people who live in Seattle. That was my original point several hours ago regarding Will. If you want to cut off funding because some of the players may be republicans you’re right let them all go. I could care less what you do with your new stadiums.

  52. 64

    bill spews:

    No rob, your point was that you think liberals would turn it into a homeless shelter. Even though you ‘have no clue what liberals think.’ You are an asshole who argues with strawmen, and you’d have a whole lot more difficulties in arguements if you address peoples actual position rather than the one most convienient for you to attack.

    Also, I am not sure, but didnt the state also get bilked contribute to that stadium?

    How is this, my position is that the sky is blue. My guess is that you are about to amuse me for hours trying to take a contrary position.

  53. 65

    bill spews:

    Looking at the Mariners website I see that the answer is yes, the state legislature did get involved, and funding is from all of king county, and last I looked at a map, Bellevue and Kirkland are included in that ‘pile of money’. (ie, you are paying for it too everytime you go out to dinner, congradulations!!!)

  54. 66

    rob spews:

    Bill, please go to a private school and learn how to read. It way MY suggestion that you turn the stadiums into a HOMELESS SHELTER. Like I said you can do what ever you want with them. Makes no difference to me. To my knowledge the state did not contribute to the stadiums, I could be wrong about that though.

  55. 67

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    Another old Northwesterner. Congratulations.

    150 years? I’d have to count. I think I can beat that, but it’s a few years in either direction. Forget it.

    I’m happy your sister owns a ranch in Telluride. It’s nice to have that sort of money laying around. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just based on common sense, would you go into the trades there, work there as a career (not a winter break to save up some money during college and go skiing) or open a company there? Nice, basic, business questions. How big is your potential customer base? What services will they pay for? etc. Tradesmen do well there. Some folks do well opening hotels and restaurants, but those are traditionally paths to turning large piles of money into smaller ones. The vast majority of the folks who are there are retirees, snowbirds, or students. There’s a reason for that.

    I’ve washed dishes and tended bar. It all helps. You’re not the only one. Did you make a career of it? Of course not. In spite of being an economic idiot, you have some sense as to which side your bread is buttered on.

    I will reiterate, tourism is an economic boobie prize. It does bring in money, and money is always a good thing, but it’s not a big multiplier. I am not going to call up restaurants and hotels and insult them, but I’m not going to support big tax subsidies for them either.

    In points 1, 2, 3, you affirmed my point. These are (IMHO) worth spending money on, and money has been spent. I don’t see a lot of indecision on how the transportation money is being spent. Nickels wants a tunnel. The state does not have enough money to pay for a tunnel. Thus we have to agree to being taxed more to pay for a tunnel (based on the current information, I’ll vote no), or they need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to build for less money.

    As regards point number 4, you’re new here. I don’t like Seattle’s political monoculture. I have written about this several times. Monocultures are unhealthy. Rudy Guliani and Michael Bloomberg both got to run NYC, so it’s not like you can’t get urban liberals to vote Republican. Unfortunately, the Washington State Republican Party choses to run candidates like Mike McGavick who insult Seattle in their stump speeches, and the local candidates who run for the legislative seats, and so on are even worse than that.

    Run a smart, socially moderate, urban-savvy Republican in Seattle, and I’ll vote for her or him. So far, the WSGOP has run right-wing nutjobs with policy statements straight from the Ellensburg Grange. Unsurprisingly, they poll about as well as sushi-munching, birkie-wearing liberals poll in Moses Lake. Funny how that works.

    I’m done for the night. Nice talking with you.

  56. 68

    rob spews:

    Re: 65.From the Mariners Website.

    September 19, 1995 – A proposal to increase the sales tax by .01% in King County to pay for construction of a new ballpark is narrowly defeated by voters.
    October 14, 1995 – Special session of the state legislature authorizes a different funding package for a new stadium including a credit against the state sales tax, sale of special stadium license plates, lottery funds, food & beverage tax in King County restaurants and bars and car rental surcharge in King County, and ballpark admissions tax.

    You’re right, the voters voted against it and the liberals decided they want it anyways. So now that you have it do you want to make a homeless shelter? If not tell me your brilliant ideas.

  57. 70

    rob spews:

    Bill says at 62. I say a) let em all go and b) we can probably come up with something more creative than a 500 million homeless shelter, don’t you think?

    Bill, You’re right again. Don’t make a homeless shelter out of the stadiums. They do fine on the street I agree with you.

  58. 71

    rob spews:

    Re: 67, When you do wake up though JSA you should remember not to compare competent leadership like Pataki and Bloomberg in New York with the disgrace you have voted in with Gregoire and Nickels.

    If you remember the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001. Two weeks ago New York celebrated setting the first beam (after the foundations were completed) on the new Freedom Tower in place of the World Trade Center. This new building went through several Architectural Competitions, Funding Concerns, Severe community input and deversion and still was started 5 years after it was destroyed.

    The viaduct was severely damaged (according to Gregoire and is not safe, also according to Gregoire when she wanted to pass the gas tax) in Februaray of 2001. The incompetent state and city government still has no idea what they are going to build. In fact they are so incompetent they have left it to the voters to decide (see my comment in #68, my point being that if the voters don’t decide what they want. So what?) Your Idea that leaving a dangerous freeway for who knows how long is not a failure of leadership is a failure in your outlook on reality.

  59. 72

    My Left Foot spews:

    Rob Rob Rob,

    First,what an asshole you are.

    Second. I am student a fan and I love baseball.

    In his book, Juiced, Jose Canseco recounts a conversation that he had with Boonie during a game several years ago. I suggest you get the book and read it. No one has sued Mr. Canseco for any of the information in his book. (Truth being the defense in a libel action.)

    Boone, in the six seasons prior to 1998, never hit more than 15 home runs. Beginning in 1998 thru 2004 (7 seasons) he averaged over 26 home runs per year. The power started when he showed up for spring training 40 pounds heavier and buffed out. OVER THE COURSE OF ONE OFF SEASON. Other players remarked on his physical change.

    Comments on his body were rampant in the Mariner clubhouse. He has the same head size issue as Barry Bonds. And I am not talking about his ego. In his last year, 2005, he floundered. He hit 7 home runs and was noticeably lighter and smaller. Steroids were a punishable offense in 2005. Still think he was not juicing?

    His career ended when steroids were outlawed. He tried a brief comeback in 2006, but left shortly after spring training began.

    Draw your own conclusion. My guess is you think McGwire did not use, Bonds did not use and Palmeiro (he was framed?) did not use.

    When the names of the players who tested in 2002 come out, Boone will be one of the guilty parties. He went from good field, light hit to All-Star overnight. He suddenly had the greatest home run and RBI year, for a second baseman, in baseball history. What do you think happened? I know what happened. So do you. You just like to argue.

    Next time you want to dispute something I say, make sure you have your facts right. And for God sake, don’t call me on anything baseball.

    You fucked up, asshole!

  60. 73

    rob spews:

    “left foot asshole” you are relying on an admitted drug users conversation that he may or may not had in a book he was selling to slander someone? Like I said you liberals are a sad fucked up lot.

    Any questions? if not you still won’t mind if I cut and paste would you. You slandering little asshole.

  61. 74

    My Left Foot spews:


    You will find all of Boone’s stats here:

    Now, again, shut the fuck up.

    In my previous post I may have left the impression that I am a student. What I meant is that I am a student of MLB.

  62. 75

    My Left Foot spews:


    Canseco named names, including Boone. No one has sued. Why do you think that is?

    You fucking moe-ron.

    Boone used. The FACTS are clear.

    You fucking dickhead. Pull your head out of your ass, clean the shit out of your nostrils.

    Cut and paste all you want, I didn’t need too.

    Fuck you!

  63. 76

    rob spews:

    Sorry I can’t stop laughing “student” espeically when Jose Canseco and Michael Moore are the Libtards reference materials.

  64. 77

    My Left Foot spews:


    Rob apparently has some sort of homosexual attraction to Bret Boone. He is awful protective of a player LONG mentioned as a steroid aided athlete. Rob seems to feel he is the final authority on who did what and what is best for everyone.

    Rob, I am the biggest Mariner fan in the world. Season ticket holder, my kid worked merchandise at the ballpark (the green kiosk off first base, 100 level) and I did too for one season after I retired from the Army. We had a blast. I watched Boone from thisclose shrink right before my eyes.

    I suggest you just write to Bret, ask for an autograph and get over him. He is married and I am sure you are much too old for him, you old chicken-hawk.

  65. 78

    rob spews:

    re 75: I didn’t read the drug abusers book, but if he said unequivocally like you have on the interwebs that Boone was a drug user and Boone didn’t sue. Then you have a strong point. On the other hand if he didn’t don’t answer your door you slanderous little prick. It may be a process server there.

  66. 79

    My Left Foot spews:


    How is Michael Moore relevant in this conversation?

    Again, everything Canseco wrote in his book has been borne out to be true. All of it remains uncontested. No one has sued. Why do you think that is, you Rush Limbaugh (you mentioned Michael Moore), child molesting Mark Foley loving RightFuckingWingNut.

    Again, why has Jose not been sued? Why, Rob, are you not answering the question?

    Cocksucking asshole!

  67. 80

    rob spews:

    My left foot says

    I suggest you just write to Bret, ask for an autograph and get over him. He is married and I am sure you are much too old for him, you old chicken-hawk.

    I say, I served in the Marines, you remember the drill. The men went to the marines and everyone else went to the Army asswipe!

  68. 81

    My Left Foot spews:


    Why are you afraid to read the book? Afraid to have your little world explode around you?

    I think your mind just has no more room for expansion. I think you are full up with Republican bullshit and nothing else, like reason and common sense, will fit.

    Again, fuck you, Sparky.

  69. 82

    rob spews:

    79″ I have no idea what Consenco wrote in his book. I am just hearing it from an asshole. As for Michael Moore, another hero of the left that has trouble with facts.

  70. 83

    rob spews:

    81, I am not interested in a drug abusers book, sorry I know he is a hero of yours but it just doesn’t interst me. Got it?

  71. 84

    My Left Foot spews:


    Army Ranger.

    I would say more. But those two words say it all. Career Army. The last 18 years, Special Operations. You are not qualified to piss in my latrine. Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Fuck you, jar-head. Or should that be jug head?


    Rangers Lead The Way!

  72. 85

    My Left Foot spews:


    Michael Moore is an extremist. I don’t like extremists. On either side. You fit the bill. I don’t like you either. You are rude, argumentative, pious and just plain ignorant.

    Your parents must be very proud.

  73. 88

    My Left Foot spews:


    I think you smoked a little to much of the devil weed and inhaled a whiff or three of agent orange. That explains your anger management problem.

    The bullets, bombs and artillery I faced is no less real than what you saw. I am sorry you had to fight a war that was as futile as the one we are in now. I thank you for your service. Now that I think about it, you were there, you know the uselessness of fighting a war that can’t be won. How can you support another war that can’t be won?

    Even Bush 41 and Ford believe he is wrong.

  74. 89

    rob spews:

    You are such an ignorant asshole, you believe every conservative is a neocon and is for this war in Iraq. I was DEAD SET AGAINST IT BEFORE IS STARTED, I was ALL THE WAY FOR IT AFTER IT STARTED.

    As for you asine remark that the Vietnam War could not be won. It shows what a complete idiot you are. The only reason we didn’t win it is because we did not have the will to win it at home.

  75. 90

    My Left Foot spews:


    The difference between you and me is that you think you can kick my ass and you are very vocal about it, without being direct. What I know is that this is not possibly going to be the outcome.

    I notice you focused on Grenada. You have any comments about the other theaters that I mentioned? I did not think so. And you keep mentioning “little prick”, are you projecting here, rob?

  76. 91

    rob spews:

    90″ I know I can kick your ass and you know I will not be playing by Kings Court Rules. As for your other service, I have no idea what you did in panama, or Afganistan or Iraq. I do know what I did and for some army prick to call me a chicken hawk just really pisses me off.

    You understand that?

  77. 92

    My Left Foot spews:

    Funny thing about Americans, rob. When the United States was threatened, as well as the rest of the world, we left our farms, our families and our lives. We fought and we won.

    When Americans realize the folly of an action/war they demand that the leaders justify the action/war. When that request was met with lies from beginning to end, they did what they do best, they voted. Viet Nam ended this way. Iraq will too.

    The Army does not belong to the POTUS. It belongs to us, the American people. He is entrusted with caring for and using it properly, not for boosting his ego or proving a point.

    Is it not wonderful how a democracy works?

  78. 93

    My Left Foot spews:

    I am laughing so hard right now. Chickenhawk is a term also used to describe an aging homosexual, usually with money, who chases after much younger homosexuals. This reference was in the context of your defense of Bret Boone earlier.

    I did not use it in context of your service or politcal belief.

    I apologize that there was a misunderstanding. Might be less of a problem if you did not have the last three glasses of wine.

  79. 96

    rob spews:

    94: exactly, the amry pricks were mostly draftees and would get you killed. You learned to avoid them.

  80. 97

    My Left Foot spews:


    Grenada was 1983, I was 25 years old. In October I believe, lasted about three months.

  81. 98

    My Left Foot spews:

    Since 1974, no one has been drafted. Everyone is a volunteer. Prior to that every branch of the service was filled with draftees and volunteers. The Marines were no exception. Some who were drafted volunteered for Marine duty. The only difference between services is the uniform. There are still American men and women wearing them.

  82. 99

    rob spews:

    thanks so you were in for 18 years and were in both grenada and afghanistan as a ranger right?

  83. 100

    rob spews:

    98: thats all well and good left foot but the war ended in 73 and us marines were pulled out in 72.

  84. 102

    My Left Foot spews:

    the last 18 special ops, I was in from ’80 to 2004 after I graduated from college.

  85. 104

    My Left Foot spews:

    I resigned my commission, a personal statement of my disagreement with the present administration, in August 2004.

    I live across the water from Seattle. I really think I am done. I am tired. Old too. My wife would like for me to enjoy the rest of my life. I take care of the animals, read, play with my dog Elvis and rarely worry about anything other than when I will have lunch. Not sure why I am sharing this, but suddenly you don’t seem to be so bad a Joe.

  86. 108

    My Left Foot spews:

    I retired above O-4. I really hate to be specific. I am proud of my service, but I am not one to ask for, or expect, anything extra other than my own personal satisfaction. I am the son of a Sergeant First Class. He teased me no end, always reminding me how he outranked me in “real” life. Kept me grounded.

  87. 109

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    rob @ 71:

    When you do wake up though JSA you should remember not to compare competent leadership like Pataki and Bloomberg Property developer Larry Silverstien (there. fixed it for ya) in New York with the disgrace you have voted in with Gregoire and Nickels.

    If you remember the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001. Two weeks ago New York celebrated setting the first beam (after the foundations were completed) on the new Freedom Tower in place of the World Trade Center. This new building went through several Architectural Competitions, Funding Concerns, Severe community input and deversion and still was started 5 years after it was destroyed.

    Yep. Isn’t it nice that a developer with a lease on one of the most valuable pieces of land on the planet can go out to the capital markets, get funding to build a lovely new skyscraper which he and his backers will take the risks and rewards for, do all of this without having to go to the taxpayers for a dime.

    Why can’t Larry Silverstien build us a viaduct?

    Oh yeah. You have to do that as public infrastructure, and you can’t charge rent to drivers. Oh snap!

  88. 110

    randall spews:

    This thread has gotten a little off topic so let me attempt to steer it back briefly. I have a little something to do with seeking money for the five existing minor league stadiums in Washington. I am grateful Governor Gregoire put a portion of our request in her budget. The effort is simply to preserve these publically owned facilities that house minor league ball but that are also used for youth sports, international sports events and community events. Tacoma doesn’t want to build a new stadium on the waterfront, we just want to put a new roof and upgrade a few other amenities in 50-year old Cheney Stadium. The total request for all 5 facilities is $25 million, of which we received $7 million from the 2006 Legislature. I will be happy to join you at Cheney this summer with a cold one.

  89. 113

    Mrs. Rabbit spews:

    Roger had some very minor outpatient surgery today that went just fine but he’s a little goofy from the anesthesia.