From the mind of Softy:
Are we getting closer? Closer to the return of the NBA after as of now a 9 year absence? Closer to the return of the NHL after OUR OWN (yeah baby WE DID IT!) Seattle Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup ONE HUNDRED years ago in 1917? For crying out loud I hope so, because this topic is starting to wear on me... just like my show does to you every day at 3!
Two proposals put in today with the City of Seattle for a do-over on Key Arena and one waiting via Saint Christopher Hansen for a SODO location arena. I still believe that Hansens proposal is the better option(I'll get to the BUT in a second) because his plan calls for the arena to be built in a central location for Western Washington with better freeway access and parking options, including 8000 spots in two garages at Safeco Field and Century Link Field. The lower Queen Anne option strikes me as a central location for Seattle, but for people coming in from the east side, from the north and south, it feels like we're unnecessarily making life difficult. There's a reason why SODO was zoned for stadiums and not lower Queen Anne, and trust me, what AEG and Oak View want to build would feel much more like a stadium than what we were used to with Key Arena and certainly more than what we grew up with at the old Coliseum.
BUT (there it is) it's become pretty obvious that the City of Seattle has made saving Key Arena a huge priority, if not priority number one. They're willing to give up on the most logical location to avoid a "city gem" from becoming irrelevant. And I get that. And if that's the way its going to be, I'm curious to see which group they pick. I'm pretty darn sure they'll pick one and I don't know as of now which one has the edge. AEG has a richer history than Oak View does in the arena construction business. They also don't need a third party financier like Oak View is using in Goldman Sachs. Will that play a role? Oak View wants to dig under Thomas St to build a loading dock. They want to lower the playing surface by 15 feet. AEG, as of now, isn't talking about digging. Oak View is talking about a 3 year plan while folks at AEG told me they are operating on a 2 year construction plan. I think all these things will be factors, with the biggest one being who has the better chance of landing a team.
Still holding out hope that SODO can be the pick, but it feels like the City was waiting for a proposal that wasn't a complete disaster on Key Arena and they got two of them. I'd be fairly shocked if the City didn't grab one of these Key Arena plans. In the end, if that's the way it goes, it's not the worst consolation prize. As Chris Hansen said, we should be all about one thing: Getting our Seattle Supersonics back.
You can see the two "Executive Summaries" put forth by AEG and OVG (though AEG is now going by "Seattle Partners"). Just click the images below and you'll see the full PDF of each summary.