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SBD/January 16, 2013/Franchises
Mayor Kevin Johnson To Present Sacramento Group's Kings Bid To NBA BOG
Published January 16, 2013
SLEEPY IN SEATTLE? In Seattle, Gene Balk noted despite this week’s “press frenzy,” market data shows that the Seattle metro area "has one of the nation’s lowest levels of interest in the NBA.” In surveys conducted during ‘11 and ‘12, only 4.1% of people in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area expressed a "very high" level of interest in the NBA. That ranks Seattle 75th out of "the 78 major markets surveyed." The area’s enthusiasm for pro basketball is “lower now than in many cities that never had a team at all.” The percentage of “hardcore NBA fans" in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area is 62% below the national average, which “couldn’t get much worse.” In '05, three seasons before the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City, the market "only ranked 27th for the percent of the population with the highest level of interest in the NBA." That number was 10% below "the national average that year” (SEATTLETIMES.com, 1/15). Also in Seattle, Levi Pulkkinen reported a longtime opponent of new stadiums has “sued the city of Seattle in an effort to stop the city from helping to fund a basketball and hockey arena proposed for the Sodo neighborhood.” Mark Baerwaldt of Citizens For More Important Things and two other Seattle residents contend that a memorandum of understanding, signed by the city, King County and the hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen's investor group, "is illegal and has asked a county judge to nullify the agreement” (SEATTLEPI.com, 1/15). Johnson said, “I hope Seattle gets another team. They deserve another team. They didn’t deserve to lose their team in the first place. It just won’t be the Sacramento Kings if we have anything to do with it” (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/16).