There have been rumblings about the M's opposing an arena since Chris Hansen's plan came to light. Today in a letter to city and county officials, they made it official: the Mariners do not want an NBA/NHL arena for a neighbor.
The proposed SODO location, in our view, simply does not work.
We strongly support the return of the NBA to the Seattle area. But we have strong reservations about the SODO site for an arena.
On the face of it, their position is understandable. A new arena south of the Safeco garage would present a number of logistical challenges. But they are playing with fire by going public with their opposition.
Many will question the motivation of a losing team in keeping discretionary-dollar competition out of the neighborhood. Or the hypocrisy of hosting a Sonics Celebration Night at Safeco Field, then deliberately undermining Seattle's best chance to reclaim that glory. Or the irony of opposing a new arena in a location specifically zoned for one, while their own financial success has been the direct result of a massive public subsidy in that very stadium district.
It has been hard enough for Mariner fans to stay committed through years of futility. The team doesn't need to make it even harder. People who desperately want the Sonics back will be disinclined to keep giving money to a perpetual loser if they continue on this path.Tim Booth/AP:
The Mariners are the first and largest local organization to express its desire for Christopher Hansen to look at other site options for his proposed arena.