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Steve Ballmer & Chris Hansen Playing Games With Seattle

Seattle Sonics

We’ve heard about Chris Hansen and his goal of getting an NBA team in Seattle. One member of his investor group is Steve Ballmer who is the X-CEO of Microsoft. The plan has simple we come to the people and get their support and with a little help from them we could build a stadium and get a new NBA team. They were adamant that 200 million would be needed in bonds to make this work from the government. It just wouldn’t work out without public support they claimed. I actually supported their motives with a guaranteed payback of the funds they barrow. I believe if it didn’t cost us to much and was going to get paid back in the timely manner it would help the city increase revenue ect. Chris Hanson and his investors seem genuine in their pleas and efforts.

With the recent news of Steve Ballmer buying the Clippers my view has changed. With this new purchase, Steve Ballmer is out of the Chris Hansen investment group now. I’m also very skeptical of the groups motive considering Mr. Steve Ballmer’s wealth and actions. Here is why. First the group obviously has money and doesn’t need the support of the community through taxes or bonds. Chris Hansen played us on this. I believed he was genuine about it but obviously he was just looking to get the best deal out of Seattle unfortunately.

Steven Ballmer paid 2 billion in CASH for the Clippers. First, clearly no public funding was really needed it turns out. Let’s put that in perspective and I think it was said best by Danny Westneat at the Seattle Times, “For the amount Ballmer just paid for the Clippers, he could have built a new Sodo basketball arena all by himself, plus built the Safeco Field baseball stadium, plus built the CenturyLink football stadium and still had more than $600 million left over for buying a team.”

We just got played folks and that is why I no longer support Chris Hansen or his group of investors. I’m out.

Mayor Mike McGinn’s Secret NBA Arena Contract

Taxpayer’s get ready to be jumping though the hoops again paying fees, taxes, fines, levy’s or whatever else the city might decide they want to take away from you to build a new Basketball Arena. We lost the Sonics because we the people would not pay for another stadium for them. Of course we the people voted against the other two stadiums but they got built anyway. I thought we had made it clear that we were not interested in building a bunch of millionaires a sports facility so a bunch of millionaire players could earn them some more money. Tickets are out of reach of the ordinary person.

When Mayor McGinn talks about the city slashing, cutting, laying off police and fireman and no money to fix streets. No money for the homeless. Man he says the city is broke. What most of us don’t know about is the fund he has that allows him to spend up to $250,000 without even telling the city council what he is spending it on. To the city that is just pennies, but it had to be taken away from workers to create that fund. In secret he has had a contract with Carl Hersh, a sports- facility consultant. He has been paying him $19,500 a month since July. The Mayor says he is examining the “opportunity” to bring an NBA Team to Seattle. He didn’t even bother to tell the city Council about this. Something is really wrong here.

There was an opportunity to keep the Sonics here but we could not afford to build a playpen for Bennett so he took the team to Oklahoma. The economy has not improved. We can’t afford a stadium anymore now than when Bennett said Key Arena was not good enough but the Mayor is blowing almost $20,000 on this consultant. This is the same consultant that worked for Howard Schultz on how to make the Key Arena profitable. Maybe we need Dr Phil to ask the Mayor, “hows that workin’ for ya”. We were still paying on the mortgage on of king dome when they blew it up to build a bigger, better more expensive arena THAT THE VOTERS VOTED DOWN.

Let the investors hire their consultant, let the investors buy up property, then let the investors apply for permits, pay for everything including the building. Then let them pay their taxes and the city might make some money but not if we are in the business of buildings stadiums and then being made hostage by the millionaires that bought the team wanting more remodeling, more luxury seats. Let all of that be THEIR problem. Not the taxpayers problem. How many more secret things are we paying for that never see the light of day. Why is this such a secret. Is the Mayor wheeling and dealing and by the time we hear about it and say we don’t want it he can say the contracts are signed, we cant back out now like the stupid tunnel that we cant afford. I say whoa nellie. Stop spending money on consultants and lawyers looking at the initiative that taxpayers signed that says the city has to make money from the stadiums. Let the millionaire players build their stadium like the millionaires have to build their own swimming pools etc. No taxpayer money should be used, especially while the Mayor is talking about how broke the city is. Shame on him. If he thought the people would be excited over it why keep it a secret?

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