Commentary: Mariners deserve one-game boycott, but no one will be there anyway

NBANHLSafeco Field

Even Sodo arena opponents should admit that with all the concessions Chris Hansen made in the revised arena plan, his intentions are true: Hansen’s not in this for profit. It’s simply a labor of love that comes with a ridiculously high price tag.

Let’s get these numbers straight. Hansen’s already spent $51 million for land in the Sodo area. And under the revised plan, Hansen isn’t only committing his group to spending $290 million  in arena construction costs.

Hansen is now personally on the hook for 247 million dollars if arena tax revenues fall short: $47 million for transportation mitigation in the Sodo area and KeyArena, and $200 million to buy back the arena if the city chooses to sell in 30 years.

That’s $247 million in personal guarantees – not counting Hansen’s majority share of the $400 million he and his group will likely spend on an NBA team. 

Profitable or unprofitable, this guy deserves more than just a round of applause.

And at the same time, the Mariners deserve a one-game boycott of their final home game on Wednesday, Oct. 3. And I’d encourage that – although I’m not sure how many people will be there anyway.

In today’s Seattle Times, Jerry Brewer is spot on, calling Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln arrogant and hypocritcal for their continued opposition of the Sodo location. First it was traffic. Now it’s the Environmental Impact Survey. They want other locations examined, a.k.a. Bellevue, a.k.a. far, far away from right down the street.

But what Brewer didn’t include is this – the document that proves the utter hypocrisy the Mariners are demonstrating. In 1996, Safeco Field underwent an Environmental Impact Study. According to *that* study, three alternative ballpark sites were evaluated…and every “alternative site” was within the boundaries of the stadium district.”

So the same team that was hell-bent on getting a new stadium in the Sodo area – the one whose EIS didn’t include sites outside the Stadium District – is now mad if the arena’s EIS doesn’t include sites outside the stadium district?

That, my friends, is hypocrisy at its best. And the people in charge need to put an end to this sooner rather than later. Because it’s a PR nightmare for a team that’s already struggling to get fans. 

And the Mariners’ true intentions – protecting the franchise’s worth for an eventual sale – is now more transparent than ever.

Sportsradio KJR has a “hero or goat” segment every Friday afternoon. Chris Hansen is my hero. Howard Lincoln, for the umpteenth time, is my goat.

And in eight days, thanks to our hero, the dream of an NBA and possibly an NHL team in Seattle will be even closer to reality. And frankly, I don’t care one bit what the Mariners think.

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