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September 5, 2013 at 4:27 PM
Do the math
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
July 12, 2013 at 5:56 AM
Commercial waterfront jobs are necessary
The Seattle Times was right to call out City Hall on the loss of our commercial shipping business. [“Editorial: Pay attention to the port, industrial sector,” Opinion, July 10.]
What did we expect? After forever putting off long-promised and much-needed additional freight access in Sodo, the city of Seattle fell all over itself to grubstake a glitzy sports arena that would make freight mobility even worse. Customers go where they feel wanted, and the vibe from City Hall to the container trade is a collective cold shoulder.
Now, property owners along north Lake Union and Salmon Bay, where the commercial fishing industry is located, are angling to change the zoning to high-density residential. If granted, they can cash out to property developers, and retire to Hawaii.
Do we really need more high-rent condos and fewer paying jobs on that part of the lake?
None of the candidates have addressed the issue, but it is important to ask them: “Does your vision for the future include working docks, truck traffic and commercial waterfront paychecks as well as high-tech condos and bike lanes?”
Douglas Pratt, Seattle
April 27, 2013 at 8:02 AM
Seattle shouldn’t forget about alternate arena locations
I find it interesting that I keep reading in The Seattle Times about another “latest revision” to a planned arena in the Sodo District [“Remaking Sodo,” page one, April 22].I am concerned that I have yet to read even the location of the “other sites” that are supposed to be under consideration.
In October 2012, the Seattle City Council “received a number of significant concessions from Chris Hansen,” according to Councilmember Nick Licata’s blog.
The first concession is: “A full SEPA review will be completed before any Transaction Documents are signed. That means the city will take into consideration alternative sites, traffic congestion and freight mobility.”
When is the city going to even name one of those alternative sites, let alone give us an update on how they might be designed?
Gregg Whitcomb, Seattle
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