Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine held a joint press conference this afternoon to announce…yet another new sports stadium for our region.
This one would draw both an NBA team (Basketball?
Yyyyyyyyawn. More green Jell-o commercials? Wait…that’s right. I LOVE Jeremy Lin! I’m a HUGE fan…Always have been. This is GREAT!) and an NHL team (hey…that is cool!).
So…is this another fuck-the-tax-payers-for-wealthy-team-owners deal? Apparently not, at least if Goldy, normally a curmudgeon on such things, is to be believed:
Honestly, objectively, and not just because I’m a hockey fan itching for an NHL franchise, this really does look like a damn good deal for the region and taxpayers. Assuming it actually happens.
Goldy provides an overview of the deal:
Under the terms of the proposal…a private investment group led by Seattle-born Chris Hansen, would put up $290 million toward building a new sports arena just south of Safeco Field, matched by a joint city/county contribution capped at $200 million. The city/county would own the arena, with its debt service paid through a combination of taxes generated by the facility, and rent paid by both the teams and the facility operator. In years where revenue falls short of the debt obligation, the teams and operator would be required to pay additional rent to cover the difference.
The city/county would issue a 30-year bond to finance its portion of the construction costs, and the teams would sign a 30-year lease with a binding non-relocation clause.
If all the pieces come together, we get an arena, NBA and NHL teams, all with zero new public taxes. Sounds like a Lin-Lin deal.