The Seattle Times carries a press release: “Arena plan as solid as it looks?”
The intricate plan offered for an NBA and NHL arena in Sodo hinges on the untested strategy of building a city-owned, self-supporting arena, without the aid of new taxes, and with team owners — not taxpayers — obligated to absorb any losses.
This not only a lie, it is a blatant lie, contradicted by statements later in the article:
…Seattle and King County would finance $200 million — likely in bonds — to cover construction costs. The city would recoup its money through lease payments and the taxes on everything from tickets to concessions from the arena.
Let me translate that into plain English. The taxpayers of Seattle and King County would sign a bond. We’d be obligated to pay it back if or when the
Supersonics new team leaves town. Also, let me comment that the use of “would” is inaccurate. The word that the writers sought and were unable to come up with is “might”, as in: “the city might recoup its money…”
One more quote:
It’s hard to argue against the idea of an arena that pays for itself.
It’s even harder to guarantee it, though.
Actually, it’s easy to guarantee that the arena pays for itself, or at least that the taxpayers don’t pay for it. The builders finance the arena. See how easy that is? They issue the bonds, they reap the profits. Then the people of Seattle and King county are guaranteed to not be on the hook.
Pretty simple, if the Seattle Times would stop relaying lies about who’s on the hook for bonds issued by Seattle or King County.
Look, while I’m opposed to having to sit in traffic for yet more sporting events, I shouldn’t have a say in how these folks spend their money. The arena backers should feel free to spend their money, plus as much as anyone will loan them, to build a stadium, buy a team, or hold a parade. That’s what freedom is about. But the people of Seattle should not carry any of the risk. The money should be entirely private.
Maybe the plan can’t work without Seattle bearing some of the risk. If that’s the case, that’s because this isn’t the sure thing that its backers want us to think. It means that the bankers see this as a risky thing, and want to transfer that risk to some sucker. I don’t want to be the sucker who’s paying for a failed deal. Do you?