Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 5, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Potential arena in Sodo

Do the math

Investor Chris Hansen smiles as he speaks to supporters of a proposal for a new NBA arena during a rally in Seattle in 2012. [AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]

Investor Chris Hansen smiles as he speaks to supporters of a proposal for a new NBA arena during a rally in Seattle in 2012. [AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]

The city of Seattle has been corrupted in such a way that it has allowed hedge-fund guy Chris Hansen to pay for an economic-impact evaluation of his arena proposal, thereby assuring the sort of objective research expected of paid advocates like lawyers or public relations people. [“Editorial: Make Hansen fund arena vote in Seattle,” Opinion, Aug. 20.]

Owners of professional-sports franchises claim the economic impact of a professional-sports team is equal to the sum of all the money spent by a fan of that team; not only tickets, but T-shirts and ball caps and refreshments, both at the game and before and after the game.

That seems like a lot of money, until you realize that it’s mostly money being spent in different places within the same local economy and to accurately calculate the contribution of a professional-sports team to a local economy it is necessary to calculate the losses of other businesses in the same economy.

You’re not adding anything to Seattle’s economy by having people drinking in a bar in Lower Queen Anne when they would otherwise be drinking in Ballard or Capitol Hill, you’re merely shifting the places where money is spent.

I hope that Seattle will insist on a traffic study as part of economic- and environmental-impact reports. Such research could use traffic-flow simulators, which could be used to estimate the effects of adding thousands vehicles to and from a new arena. Calculate how much time people would spend in traffic, turning fossil fuels into pollution, each time there would be a game.

I’d bet that when you consider the costs in other people’s time and environmental costs, the economic costs of an arena in Sodo would be greater than the supposed benefits of Chris Hansen’s proposal.

Tony Formo, Seattle

Comments | More in Economy, Seattle | Topics: arena, Chris Hansen, economy

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►