Art Thiel writes an article at Sports Press Northwest discussing the history of traffic abatement in the SODO area.
In this black and white world, gray areas are rarely allowed or tolerated. Lincoln and Armstrong have been labelled the villains here, with their only motive being the dastardly desire to bilk the city out of money while providing a sub-standard product <insert evil laugh here> - something that can not be accomplished with increased competition for entertainment dollars. Obviously, the M's are just selfish children who don't want the city to have a NBA team!
Thiel has been labelled an apologist for writing this article. I expect I'll be labelled the same. But the fact is that the M's, along with the Port of Seattle and the SODO business district, have been working with the city for a decade trying to find solutions to the EXISTING traffic problems in the area.
Traffic is pretty darn bad when the M's suck and attendance is bad. The team is trying to get better, expect to get better, expect attendance to improve when they do get better, and have every reason to expect the already bad traffic to get even worse when that occurs. Now add in a new stadium, two new sports teams, plus the additional events necessary to sustain the business model Hansen's deal calls for and... BOOM. Without significant infrastructure work being done (which, of course, is on the public dime and not included in the arena plan), we've got a big mess on our hands.
The M's have a legitimate concern. They haven't complained about the city getting a NBA and/or NHL team. They've only questioned the LOCATION of the arena. Given the inability to solve the existing traffic problems and the additional traffic woes during the construction of the viaduct replacement, it's a valid question.
So, I ask you these questions.
- Is SODO the right location for a new arena?
- If so, how should the traffic issues in the area be resolved?
- Who should pay for those infrastructure changes?
I don't know about everyone else ... but here's one guy who isn't going to label you an apologist. You bring up excellent points -- and all points that I heard Armstrong express yesterday and agree with to a point myself.
However --- my main question is -- just how much of conflict are we talking about here?
Let's let history be our guide (overlapping dates are in red) ...the 2008 Mariners ... and the 2007-2008 Sonics ...April 2nd -- M's opened against Texas. Sonics played the Clippers at home that day.
April 4th -- M's promptly went on a road trip. They opened against the Orioles in Baltimore that night.
April 11th -- the M's returned home for the first of 3 games against the Angels. The Sonics were on the road and played the Spurs that night.April 13th -- the M's were still at home against the Angels. The Sonics returned home and played their last home game ever against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Sonics played no more games in Seattle. Their season was over after their win AT Golden State on April 16th.the 2001 Mariners ... and the 2000-2001 Sonics ...
The Mariners opened the 2001 season at home against the A's on April 2nd. The went on the road starting April 6th and didn't return until April 16th.April 18th -- the Mariners played at home against the Rangers ... the Sonics played their final game of the season against the Spurs at home.
There were NO other scheduling conflicts between the 2 that year.The 1995 Mariners ... and the 1994-1995 SonicsApril 27th -- the Mariners played their 2nd home game of the year against the Tigers ... the Sonics played their 1st Playoff Game at home against the LakersApril 29th -- the Mariners played their 3rd game of the season at home against the Tigers ... the Sonics played their 2nd Playoff Game at home against the Lakers
The Sonics season ended that year on May 4th 1995 in L.A. after their Playoff loss to the Lakers.
There were NO other scheduling conflicts that year.The 1996 Mariners ... and the 1995-1996 Sonics ...April 3rd -- the Mariners played their 3rd home game of the year against the White Sox ... the Sonics played at home against the Rockets.April 5th -- the Mariners played at home against the Brewers ... the Sonics played at home against the Suns.April 17th -- the Mariners played at home against the Tigers ... the Sonics played at home against the Trailblazers.April 19th -- the Mariners played at home against the Blue Jays ... the Sonics played at home against the Timberwolves
Sonics Playoff run was from April 26th to June 16th.
Mariners were on the road starting April 24th. They returned home on May 2nd.May 4th -- the Mariners played at home against the Indians ... the Sonics were at home against the RocketsMay 6th -- the Mariners were at home against the Twins ... the Sonics played Game#2 at home against the Rockets.
The Mariners went on a road trip starting May 14th. They returned home May 24th.May 28th -- the Mariners played at home against the Orioles ... the Sonics played Game#4 against the Jazz at home.June 2nd -- the Mariners played at home against the Red Sox ... the Sonics played Game#7 against the Jazz at home.June 9th -- the Mariners played at home against the Royals ... the Sonics played Game#3 of the NBA Finals against the Bulls at home.June 12th -- the Mariners played at home against the Twins ... the Sonics played Game#4 of the NBA Finals against the Bulls at home.June 14th -- the Mariners played at home against the White Sox ... the Sonics played Game#5 of the NBA Finals against the Bulls at home.
There is just a snippet of what I'm talking about. Worst case scenario was 1995-1996 in which there were 11 scheduling conflicts. Every other year though ... we're talking more about 3 or 4 dates on average. Outside of the Sonics Finals Run in 1996 ... the schedulers of both the M's and Sonics seemed to do a pretty good job of making sure they didn't bump in to one another.
So my question is -- is the Mariners opposition to Hansen and his group's proposed location truly worth all this hullabaloo? It sure sounded like Hansen was genuinely surprised and taken aback by the Mariners resistance. So in terms of this letter from Lincoln is concerned, I wonder if 3-4 dates on average is truly worth:
A] the possibility of alienating a potential partner who could really help the Mariners in the long run (The M's surely aren't going to make friends this way).
B] all the negative PR that could come from a fanbase that is already generally disillusioned by Lincoln's and Armstrong's leadership in the first place.
In the end, I contend that after looking at all the facts ... that in the end, the positives of this NBA/NHL Arena (and where they've proposed to build it) outweighs all the potential negatives (which aren't many, from what I can see). As Jan Drago said
, "I don't see any other place in the city it [the arena] could go."
Just kinda makes me wonder.
Edited by Mariner Analyst, 05 April 2012 - 11:19 AM.