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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.

Tim Burgess Responds To NBA Decision

Seattle Supersonics NBA Team

If you don’t know by now, Seattle won’t be getting an NBA team anytime soon.  The deal is dead and many fans are disappointed.  Seattle was scouting the Sacramento Kings and had a big offer on the table.  Unfortunately, the NBA Board of Governors voted and said the deal is not going to happen.  They wanted the Sacramento Kings to stay in Sacramento, California.  The NBA Board of Governors has the final say and the verdict was a big fat “not going to happen”.  On paper, the deal looked like a success for Seattle.  When is comes to the Neilson ratings, Seattle is the 14th largest compared to Sacramento who is the 20th largest.  In the last hours, Hansen and Steve Ballmer (from Microsoft) even increased their bid but at the end of day it wasn’t about the money, is was about ego and control.  The NBA Board of Governors controls these decisions and how they play out.  The big issue was that in Sacramento they have no other teams or entertainment dollars coming in.  They only have the Kings.  Compared to Seattle having the Mariners, Sounders, UW, and the Seahawks (plus more) which is a massive amount of entertainment.

When the final decision of “no go” came from the NBA Board, City of Seattle Council Member Tim Burgess responded with saying:

“The NBA’s decision is very disappointing to me and the thousands of Sonics fans in our city. I remain hopeful that Seattle can once again be home to NBA basketball in the coming years. Chris Hansen and his partners have displayed amazing commitment in their efforts to secure a team for Seattle’s fans. The City’s role has always been to prepare for a team should one be available. We will be prepared.”

Unfortunately, that is not going to happen anytime soon for Seattle.

New Seattle Stadium Expected Approval Tuesday

On Tuesday, the City Of Seattle is expected to sign the documents to approve the new stadium.  The exact area is not determined yet and not specified in the documents.  Many expect the new stadium to be placed near Safeco Field in the SODO area.  The red tape has already begun, however.  By state law, a 1 year environment review is required.  They are going also review others areas not just the SODO area.  $200 million of the expected $490 million dollar stadium is to come from public funds.  It is expected to be paid back by admission taxes and rent money.  In the event, the payback falls short, Mr. Hansen will cover the rest.  For sports fans, this is a major deal and many are excited to have a new NBA team (and possible NHL team).  History says it’s not going to work out but good luck to them.

I am not as excited as them, however.  I know Seattle residents will support our Seahawks more than they would ever support our new NBA or NHL team.  Just like any other sport and as we saw with the SuperSonics less support is given to teams who constantly lose.  In my opinion, Seattle stadium owners have a way of not supporting any of the really good players.  We always trade them or not renew them because of financial reasons.  It’s all about selling out the local stadium and not the long term value (or away games).  We could care less about them. That trend is pretty constant and it sure doesn’t want me to support any teams here.  Visits are drawn to teams by player branding.  It’s the exact reason why boxing is so poor today – they don’t support player branding.  Fans want to support their favorite player, visit, dress like them, read about them, etc… without that the support will always be low for new players with no branding.  Seattle was constantly built good players and just when the public falls in the love with them (their brand) they are gone to a new team or not supported by their owners anymore.  I hate that aspect it’s just bad business.

I would expect this to fully pass and be signed on Tuesday.  It will take many years before we actually have something new to visit, however.  Just to complicate this process more it doesn’t appear the International Longshore and Warehouse Union locals are going to support it at all.  They are already complaining about the traffic chocking their working area.  Unfortunately, the Seattle City Council will make this decision with or without them.  It’s a done deal.

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