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SBD/April 6, 2012/Facilities
Hansen Paying For Traffic, Parking Study For Proposed Seattle Arena Site
Published April 6, 2012
OBJECTION OVERRULED: In Seattle, Steve Kelley writes the Mariners' "orchestrated objections ... are contentious and obstructionist." The Mariners are "worried about the competition that a new arena will bring to the area, not the congestion." Kelley notes apparently the Mariners "finally figured out the magnitude of their public-relations blunder Thursday." In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the team "sounded downright neighborly." Hansen "agrees there would be traffic congestion on those rare times the Mariners would have conflicting home dates with an NBA or NHL team." But he said, "People will tolerate a little bit of traffic for the ability to go to concerts and see professional basketball and see professional hockey." He added, "People are excited, but they probably expect it to happen sooner than it might. But I think something will happen in the next five years" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/6). Mariners President & COO Chuck Armstrong cited traffic concerns with the arena and said, "Our view is that Hansen, if he built it in that location, he would rue the day he did it." In Seattle, Jerry Brewer wrote while the Mariners did "raise valid concerns, it comes across as silly, maybe even petty, to listen to a sports franchise with a publicly funded stadium complain this much about another project." The Mariners "say they are all for the NBA and NHL coming to Seattle, but not in their 'hood." They "don't want the congested Sodo area to become unbearable." Brewer: "They have a point. Problem is, it's a molehill issue that isn't worth it for them." The Mariners "sound like stingy, grumpy old men yelling for Hansen to get off their lawn." Brewer wrote, "Even worse, they risk alienating far more fans than they already have during this decadelong dry spell" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/5).