Monday, January 21, 2008



This Bud's for you, Andy:
If the Sonics leave Seattle, the city's economy won't suffer and most people won't care.

That's not the tirade of some anti-arena activist; it's the Sonics' latest legal argument to try to get out of its KeyArena lease.

And it's exactly the opposite of what the Sonics have claimed when asking for taxpayer help to build a new arena.

The team made the argument in papers filed in U.S. District Court this week, seeking mediation or a speedy trial to allow the team to abandon city-owned KeyArena before 2010. [...]

"The financial issue is simple, and the city's analysts agree, there will be no net economic loss if the Sonics leave Seattle. Entertainment dollars not spent on the Sonics will be spent on Seattle's many other sports and entertainment options. Seattleites will not reduce their entertainment budget simply because the Sonics leave," the Sonics said in the court brief.

The Sonics also said they would produce a survey showing that 66 percent of Seattleites say the team's exit would make "no difference" in their lives, while only 12 percent said they'd be "much worse off."

Those sentiments belie what Sonics' boosters — and sports teams in general — have argued when asking for taxpayer help to build a new arena. Teams and their supporters generally portray professional sports as a boon, bringing a city millions in revenue, hundreds of jobs and immeasurable civic pride.

A spokesman for the Sonics' owners declined to comment Thursday on the court filing.

Rodney Fort, a professor of sports management at the University of Michigan, who has criticized the economic-impact claims made by pro-sports teams, called the Sonics' latest argument "the best chuckle" he's had in a long time.

"It would seem that the value of the Sonics is a 'contingent' value — contingent on the purposes of the Sonics ownership," Fort said in an e-mail. "On the one hand, when the Sonics are trying to get the public to pitch in on a new arena, they are worth tens of millions to the Seattle area. On the other hand, when they are trying to beat their KeyArena lease, they are worth nothing to the Seattle area."

Hearty glove-tap to The Agitator.


Maybe the Journal should interview Rodney Fort next time instead of keep going back to Mason.

I was just going to alert Andy to this article in the comments in his prior post.

Good stuff.

So to review: A Corporation acts in its best interests; file this just ahead of water is wet.

I'm sure you've heard but you were quoted today in the Herald's article regarding Tanguay.

Contingent value. Love it.

Is Seattle a strong basketball market?? Probably NOT. Its like the Grizzlies in Vancouver - who really cares.

If it was the Seahawks threatening to leave the city and everyone involved would be bending over and 'taking it' just to keep the team in town.

And to top it off, economists are now saying that home sports contests increase crime:

Save taxpayers money, don't hurt the economy and lower crime. Sounds like a great platform for a politician to get rid of the Oilers.

Go Flames!

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