SBD/March 14, 2013/Facilities

Designs Unveiled For Proposed Seattle Arena; Hansen Touts Premium Fan Experience

Features of the Seattle arena would include stacked balconies, flexible suite layouts
Architects for NBA Kings bidder Chris Hansen yesterday "released the first drawings of the interior of the planned new Seattle sports arena," according to Lynn Thompson of the SEATTLE TIMES. The drawings show a "steep lower bowl, which puts fans closer to the action and improves sightlines." The upper seating is "dramatically shortened and features three stacked balconies dubbed the 'Sonic Rings,' on which fans can stand and scream." Hansen said reduced stratification between seating levels would give "typically premium seating amenities to all our fans." He added the building will not feature exclusive suites that “speak to status superiority and isolation.” Instead, Hansen said that the design "allows for flexible suite layouts to accommodate groups and businesses of different sizes" (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/14).

TIGHT ON TIME IN THE VALLEY: A SACRAMENTO BEE editorial states while the "tight timetable on a deal for a new downtown arena is being driven by the NBA," Sacramento officials can "still control how open the process is." For something "this important, involving so much public money, the schedule City Hall is on falls far short of the transparency that Sacramento deserves." The plan is to "post the agreement on the city's website" on March 21, "mere hours before the only scheduled public meeting." That "isn't enough lead time," and City Manager John Shirey "warned council members even that isn't guaranteed." A forum "without a specific proposal to comment on would be an empty gesture" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/14).
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