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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 17, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Sodo arena could improve local economy

Don’t build new arena with taxpayer money

I respectfully disagree with Conner Morgan about the appropriateness of public dollars going to Chris Hansen’s efforts to build a new basketball arena [“Arena deal an opportunity for economic growth,” Northwest Voices, April 14].

When people list all the wonderful things that are supposed to accompany the new arena, they should ask one simple question: What’s wrong with KeyArena? There is only one true answer to this question: There are not enough luxury boxes for the big spenders.

We have a perfectly good arena (In fact, we have two arenas and three stadiums, counting the UW facilities). But KeyArena does not fit the NBA business model because it demands that cities tax their entire populous in order to build luxurious accommodations for the very wealthy.

I’m a sports fan, but I reject this reverse Robin Hood extortion, and so should every self-respecting Seattleite. If Chris Hansen wants to build a new arena for the city, that’s great. But not on public dime.

Rick Kosterman, Seattle

Arena deal won’t drive economic growth

In Conner Morgan’s letter, the writer opines that the arena deal is “an enormous opportunity for further development in the Sodo area.” Really? Elliott Bay Books moved from Pioneer Square for one reason: The two stadiums almost killed its business. It is now thriving, by the way, in Capitol Hill [“Arena deal an opportunity for economic growth,” Northwest Voices, April 14].

How does buying up land for $80 million and selling it back to the taxpayers in excess of $100 million drive economic growth? How does “giving” the city $40 million for road improvements carry the weight of a feather when the proposed Lander Street overpass carries a price tag of $180 million?

Perhaps our Sonics fan in Bellingham should receive this wonderful gift.

Mike Joines, Seattle

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