Everybody loves to get all ape shit about the sonics, but I remember the last couple years they were here no one really cared, much less showed up to a game.
I don't really like the SODO arena idea. They ought to rebuild the Key Arena. Otherwise, there'll be further testament to the idiocracy of blundered space known ironically as "Seattle Center". I'm also not amused by the hypocrisy of stealing another city's team when that's exactly what we're getting all riled up about. Good for Sacramento, at least they had the balls to stop it, unlike our own ineffective invertebrate local politicians.
It's hard to admit, but Stern is a smart extortionist. Hansen & Co will be buying an expansion team north of 600M which will then inflate the value of all of the other owner's teams. That's why they all voted against it. They're used car salesmen and when you see a dumbass with a suitcase of money buying a hyundai elantra, you're not selling that damn piece of shit for anything less than at least 3/4ers of that suit case.
Seattle will surely get a team, but it'll come at the expanse of sanity.
Just curious, Jesse, how much do you really know about the team in Seattle the last couple of years?
Clay Bennet went out of his way to kill fan support for the team. He gutted the roster, hired an inept coach, moved the team from KJR radio to a station that nobody could get, cut the marketing budget to nil, and forbade coaches and players from talking to the media, all while raising ticket prices. The apathy that you talk about was his intention from the start. That, along with an arena plan that no city would ever accept ($500 million entirely subsidized by the public but owned by him, with no financial input from the team) was designed to make it easier to get out of Seattle. The will among Seattle politicians to keep the Sonics is largely a miscontrued narrative. Especially given 1. Stern's mandate that fighting the move would preclude the city from ever getting a team again, and 2. Stern's wink-wink nod-nod promise of a team returning "soon" as long as the fight was dropped that he made to Steve Balmer.
While it would be nice to rebuild Key Arena, the space just isn't there. The footprint doesn't allow for an arena that's competitive in the current market. That definitely says something about the NBA in general, but having a team means that certain criteria are met. Same with the Mariners, and same with the Seahawks. And the footprint makes it particularly difficult to ever have hockey there. Traffic is worse in the area, parking is much worse, and the money that Hansen has pledged to increase traffic flow in the Sodo area makes it significantly more viable. It's an area that could be developed similar to the way the Pepsi Center and Mile High were in Denver.
I don't like the hypocrisy of stealing another team either, and I commend Sacramento's effort to keep their team. But Sacramento's plan is full of holes, and the Kings are the second most-often moved franchise in the history of the NBA (Sacramento "stole" them from Kansas City in 1985). The city doesn't have the money to fulfill their end of the deal, and it's probably 50/50 that it falls apart even if the team is sold to them. This was entirely about David Stern and his legacy. More than any other pro sports league, relocation in the NBA is the way the world works, but it's seemingly lost its palatibility to Mr. Stern on his way out the door.
If a legitimate binding offer of expansion is presented, the Seattle ownership group of going to take it. But unless there's a guarantee, there's simply no way to trust that expansion will happen in any sort of "reasonable" timeframe (in fact, contraction is just as likely). NBA owners are nothing if not greedy, and splitting the revenue pie with an additional team makes that expansion fee not necessarily worthwhile.