Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Tale Of Two Town's Multi-Purpose Arenas

I saw that which you see here this morning on Facebook. A post from KING 5 News, in Seattle, about a new Seattle arena getting closer to being a done deal.

I saw this and thought I was looking at something coming to me via a west coast online news source which would likely not be something I would read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about something similar happening in Fort Worth.

Which, actually, is sort of not exactly true.

The Star-Telegram has had an article, or two, about a new multi-purpose arena in Fort Worth. An arena whose construction was approved by voters in an election held over a year ago, in which voters passed three propositions, with the three propositions proposing goofy things, like one proposition allowed the charging of a $1 fee to rent an arena livestock stall.

So far I don't believe any dirt has been moved to begin building Fort Worth's new arena.

I read the KING 5 News article about the new Seattle arena. That article made no mention of what the new arena is projected to cost, or how many attendees would be able to be in the new arena.

So, I Googled "Chris Hansen Seattle Arena". Chris Hansen grew up in Seattle before ending up managing hedge funds in San Francisco. An activity which apparently made Chris Hansen a lot of money and want to spend some of that money on a new Seattle Arena. Googling came up with multiple websites with info about the new Seattle arena.

Including a detailed Wikipedia article titled Sonics Arena. The Wikipedia article had a link to a Sonics Arena website, a screen cap of which you see below.

No amount of Googling will cause you to find a Wikipedia article about Fort Worth's proposed multi-purpose arena, or a Fort Worth multi-purpose arena website.

Because such articles do not exist.

I wonder why?

From what I can glean, the Seattle Arena is a bit more evolved than the Fort Worth Arena, including having a big parking garage, a plaza and mixed use office buildings.

Seattle voters have not been asked to vote on anything goofy under the pretense that approving a goofy proposition gives the go ahead to build.

From the Sonics Arena website....

The Arena will be developed and primarily financed with private funds. The public participation is designed to be self-financing and requires no new taxes or fees. The public financial participation will be repaid solely with Arena generated revenues that would not otherwise exist. The MOU includes multiple layers of protection built into the financing that protect the general funds and bond ratings of the city and county from being affected. 

Fort Worth's new multi-purpose arena is estimated to cost $450 million. Seattle's is estimated to cost $490 million.

Fort Worth's multi-purpose arena will seat about 14,000 for concerts. Seattle's will seat 19,000. I do not know if basketball and hockey are able to be played in Fort Worth's multi-purpose arena.

There has been criticism directed at those behind Fort Worth's multi-purpose arena that the price is out of whack for the small number of visitors it can seat.

And one can assume the Fort Worth arena will not see as much action as an arena hosting an NBA and NHL team, meaning the Fort Worth arena will sit idle a lot of the time.

And if a big concert type act comes to the D/FW zone, given a choice are they going to opt to choose an arena that can hold only 14,000 ticket buyers? Or a venue like the Dallas Cowboy stadium? Or that place in Dallas where the Mavericks play basketball?

Read the Wikipedia article about the Seattle Arena  history and make note of all the finagling which goes on to make something happen, like a new arena, in Seattle.

Contrast that with a town that has people voting yes or no on whether to charge $1 to rent a livestock stall, and then not much of anything happening over a year after the vote....

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