West Seattle Chamber of Commerce opposes SODO location for arena; letter sent to City, County Councils

As the Seattle City Council and King County Council consider whether to approve the proposal for an arena in SODO, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has gone on record as opposed to the proposed location – NOT to the idea of an arena, but to the proposal for putting it in SODO. The Chamber has just sent this letter to both:

Honorable Members of King County and Seattle City Councils

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (WSCC) has taken a position in opposition to the proposed Sodo location of Arenaco’s sports and entertainment complex. Our Chamber feels that the proposed sports and entertainment complex is a type of use that is incompatible in our marine, industrial and warehouse neighborhood.

WSCC is chiefly concerned about the impact such a facility would have on congestion in Sodo. Sodo is the main artery feeding West Seattle. Many goods needed by West Seattle businesses originate in Sodo warehouses or arrive via truck through Sodo. This is also true for goods and/or freight originating in West Seattle, much of it must go to or through Sodo.

WSCC wishes to emphasize that freight mobility is not simply an issue for marine cargo, it’s an issue for freight movements of all sizes and destinations. Freight sitting idle in a congested Sodo is costly to local businesses large and small.

The letter continues after the jump:

Next, Sodo congestion has an impact on commuter traffic to and from West Seattle and has a direct impact on the quality of life for all West Seattleites.

WSCC is further concerned about the impact such a facility would have on family-wage jobs that would potentially be displaced by gentrification in Sodo. Sodo jobs are important locally and regionally; preservation of these family-wage jobs should be a major consideration when weighing the cost-benefit of a new sports and entertainment complex.

Finally, WSCC believes that there are many locations in the region better suited to host a new sports and entertainment complex. The infrastructure investments diverted from Sodo to improve I-5 access via Mercer should be taken advantage of rather than deal with unfunded mitigation that will be required with a new sports and entertainment complex in Sodo.


Dave Montoure
West Seattle Chamber of Commerce

The County Council may vote as soon as next week whether to approve a plan that could eventually invest up to $80 million in the arena plan (here’s the story from our partners at The Seattle Times).

95 Replies to "West Seattle Chamber of Commerce opposes SODO location for arena; letter sent to City, County Councils"

  • EMN July 25, 2012 (1:41 pm)

    How disappointing. The area is zoned for stadia, and that’s where the new arena should be.

  • boy July 25, 2012 (1:44 pm)

    This will fall on deaf ears. The SCC could care less about WS. Just look at our trafic mess we have every morning. And look at how the city is ruducing the building regs. More apartments no parking taking lanes away. Living in WS sometimes makes you feel like the bastard step child of the city of seattle.

  • hmmm July 25, 2012 (1:45 pm)

    Seriously. Most Nba Games are at night. Give me a break.

  • Lisa July 25, 2012 (1:51 pm)

    Jesus. Did they also object/voice concerns when they built Clink field or the Mariner’s stadium? They act like there are hockey and basketball games are played everyday of the year. Get real.

  • Godwin July 25, 2012 (1:54 pm)

    I hope WS business (and this blog) are ready for the tirades from arena supporters, which will be a continuation of the smear job on everyone else that has dared speak against the proposal.

    • WSB July 25, 2012 (2:08 pm)

      Well, Godwin, we don’t allow personal attacks – this is the position of an organization, not an individual – so if comments break the rules, they won’t come through. Anyone who’s going to try to attack should just not waste their keystrokes. So far, no rulebreakers – saying you disagree or agree, and explaining why, is great. – TR

  • jedifarfy July 25, 2012 (1:56 pm)

    Glad someone is saying something to them. Traffic is horrible in the two hours before other sports games, throwing yet another stadium, more construction, and even more traffic into the mix will make it a parking lot on the surrounding roads.

  • Kayleigh July 25, 2012 (2:00 pm)

    Very sorry to hear of the WSCC’s position, and I don’t agree at all.

  • Chris July 25, 2012 (2:00 pm)

    Maybe another location would be better but guess what, that is not on the table. There is no offer to build anywhere else at this time except for SoDo. I work in SoDo and live in Tacoma now and welcome the new Arena.

  • Lisa July 25, 2012 (2:00 pm)

    Hey! If you don’t like living in an urban environment, move to the suburbs. Density is about abandoning cars and WALKING instead. If you don’t like driving in traffic use Metro. It’s cost saving and hassle free. And quit bitching about living in West Seattle and nobody paying any attention. That’s a load. I don’t think it is prudent to take away potential jobs and revenue for the city for an arena slated to be built in the STADIUM DISTRICT, so people can drive their precious cars hassle free.

  • highlandpark July 25, 2012 (2:03 pm)

    “Next, Sodo congestion has an impact on commuter traffic to and from West Seattle and has a direct impact on the quality of life for all West Seattleites.” Agreed. The stadium will only worsen the current traffic woes West Seattlites deal with on a daily basis. Thank you WSCC!

  • WS Dad July 25, 2012 (2:05 pm)

    Disappointing indeed – the arena would have no affect on goods getting to or from West Seattle. Seems like our CoC is a pawn for the Port, also making similar claims with no recent or accurate studies to back it up. There is nowhere, repeat, nowhere better suited for a new arena to be added to our city than the stadium district. The proposed location sits perfectly within an area which is close to completing years worth of transportation improvements to accommodate both spectator attendance as well as port traffic (overpasses, on and off ramps, light rail, bus corridor). How about we focus on real traffic impacts – like a moratorium on dignitaries flying into our city at rush hour and having motorcades that shut down our freeways!!

  • Tom July 25, 2012 (2:06 pm)

    Good grief. Might these short-sighted NIMBY’s have bothered to ask about potential mitigation? Oh, and let’s not forget that there’s ALREADY two stadiums in that area, both with significantly higher capacity, so whatever traffic occurs as a result of those facilities is already bigger than the new arena’s would be with half their capacity.
    And let’s not forget that West Seattle-ites should be using transit to get downtown to these events anyway. Didn’t we just invest in a BUNCH of Rapid Ride Buses going downtown every 10 minutes? Or is that too sensible? And didn’t the city just reconfigure and expand both the street level and elevated portions of Spokane street to allow for increased flow for the Port and W.S.? I’m tired of the “I want it but put it someplace else” attitude of our leadership. I want it, and I want it in SODO. And we’ll never see a better financial opportunity to do it. Come to the table and figure out what mitigations might make sense – within reason. Sheesh.

  • sw July 25, 2012 (2:11 pm)

    Hogwash. I work in SoDo and disagree with their position completely. The proposed arena will have no more impact than the current stadia. The apartment construction spree in The Junction will have more traffic impact on WS than the arena. Increased population and more cars on the road is the real reason everyone’s commute has become so bad.

  • yobot July 25, 2012 (2:11 pm)

    Bring on the arena! bring on riding the water taxi to go see an NHL hockey game! We can have it all!
    WSCC doesn’t speak for West Seattle…and what are they complaining about, most of them don’t even have to leave West Seattle to go to work.

  • Tucker July 25, 2012 (2:16 pm)

    Well, very disappointed that WSCC would take this position. Traffic congestion is a problem in SoDo that would hardly be exacerbated by the new arena. Yes, more evenings in a year would feature sporting event traffic, but there still has been no compelling case as to how an arena with a top-end seating capacity that is less than half of that of Safeco and less than a third of that of CenturyLink Field would somehow create more traffic in an evening than what they’ve commonly dealt with. The Port wants to make the case that they’ve got a $3B annual business that will be affected, neglecting to note that said business was completed while dealing with the traffic from Safeco and CLink.
    As for the gentrification worries, I can’t deny that there could be concern. But I also have to look at the specific location of the proposed arena in SoDo and how little industry is actually present there. The footprint of the arena would take over plots of land occupied primarily by retail/entertainment/hospitality business, save for the warehousing space that has been vacant for years now and isn’t providing income for the area let alone jobs. Along the 1st Ave S corridor around the proposed site is almost primarily retail/commercial business as well. So I have to take the concern over industrial and “family-wage” jobs with a bit of a grain of salt as it seems to discount what is the reality of this particular region of SoDo to begin with.
    As for other locations, it’s intriguing that the WSCC didn’t mention any of the other locations it states are better suited. Though, its not so subtle intimation that KeyArena and the Lower Queen Anne area would be better shows a lack of understanding of that location’s infrastructure problems. Even with the intended corrections to the Mercer Mess, that still doesn’t address the traffic and parking concerns that were present in the small surface streets around the Center, the inability of the KeyArena facility to properly support the pro teams in a sustainable fashion, plus the documented issues with loading and unloading of equipment at the Key that affects or prevents other events from choosing the location. And while there are a number of Metro routes that lead to LQA, it doesn’t stack up with the SoDo location for the multitude of public transportation options, for the region not just the city.
    The reality is the SoDo location is the best spot for this project and will likely help to actually improve the infrastructure problems there to improve traffic, which will benefit West Seattle.

  • chris July 25, 2012 (2:18 pm)

    WSCC opposes new jobs, and new tax revenue for the excuse of a 5 min to 10 min traffic delays on a game day. Really? I won’t even mention the fact that all the West Seattle Bridge work will ease traffic for the port, SODO and West Seattle. I cannot understand why WSCC say “no” to much needed $$$ coming into the city during the low point of tourist season Oct – April.

  • ryanl July 25, 2012 (2:30 pm)

    As a West Seattle resident & SoDo small business owner, we support the arena! It is a shame that the chamber is uninformed about this proposal & it’s impacts on our area. I wonder if they have had direct contact with Arenaco? To get both sides of the “story”.
    The so called “gentrification” of SoDo is only the next step in our great city becomming even greater. Evolving is our future.
    The union & these workers at the port need to work a little harder, become more efficient with their work. The city should also be investing in the port’s infrastructure, in order to help it to become the more improved & less congestive port when it comes to traffic.
    We can do both, build an amazing arena & take care of the port! Let’s think big, now is the time to invest in the future, our future.

  • Godwin July 25, 2012 (2:33 pm)

    @Tucker “plus the documented issues with loading and unloading of equipment at the Key that affects or prevents other events from choosing the location”

    Which is not actually documented, BTW, because it isn’t actually true. Just ask all of those people that showed up from the stagehands local about it. They will tell you otherwise. You say it is “documented”; please link us to the document(s).

  • corrj July 25, 2012 (2:35 pm)

    This is incredibly disappointing, and I feel ashamed as a WS resident that the WSCC has taken this position. I will be even more disappointed if I learn that the WSCC did not take a similar position with respect to the planning for Safeco and Qwest. I, for one, would like to know how the WSCC arrived at this opinion. At the very least, I believe they owe WS residents (who support their member businesses) an explanation. Did they conduct or rely upon any specific traffic studies before forming this opinion? Do they have any empirical data to support their position? Do a majority of small business owners supprot the WSCC’s position, or was this simply a decision by a majority of the board members? Whose input did they rely upon? Is it wrong of me to expect some kind of explanation from the WSCC?

  • Greg July 25, 2012 (2:41 pm)

    Clink = 67,000 – Football 38,500 – Soccer
    Safeco = 47,860 – Baseball
    Proposed Arena = 18,000 Basketball/Hockey

    Not going to cause any problems.

  • Jun-jun July 25, 2012 (2:42 pm)

    I’m in support of this arena, I’m sorry to hear about the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce position on this but the best we can do is agree to disagree.

  • eyeThink July 25, 2012 (2:46 pm)

    Typical “Not in my backyard” comments.

    Are Renton and Bellevue better for traffic?


    Sundays in the fall, does West Seattle get choked off from the rest of Seattle due to traffic? No. During Mariners games? No. That is 65,000 or 45,000 people.

    The Sonics Arena would hold 18,000 people, how is that worse?

    Common sense is not so common.

  • O July 25, 2012 (2:48 pm)

    Century Link Field has a capacity of 67,000 people. Safeco 47,000. The NBA arena would hold 19,000. Glad to see some positive comments behind it – Go Supes!

  • West Seattle Sun July 25, 2012 (2:52 pm)

    I totally disagree with the WSCC and would like to see their traffic study to support their far fetched assumtions positioned as facts.

    I have never seen any event at any of the stadiums during morning rush hour traffic. I have only seen the Mariners start play during the work week typically @ 12:30…and their management has the audacity to complain about possible traffic congestion during weekday events.

    If you look at the historic start times for most NBA and NHL events you will find them starting after 7PM Mon – Fri. Weekends are up for grabs in my world. So keep a schedule on your fridge.

    The WSCC does not speak for West Seattle residents so it must be a few misinformed Chamber Members who are driving this misguided attempt to sway the Seattle City and King County Councils.

    Shame on you WSCC for rushing out this letter of ignorance. You don’t speak for my family or my disposable income spend supporting West Seattle businesses.

  • Common July 25, 2012 (2:58 pm)

    Said before and said again, if traffic affects you, you are part of the problem.

  • tried of Port of Seattle July 25, 2012 (3:27 pm)

    I work in SODO and work for a trucking company in SODO. we already have a problem at T46,T18, and T5 and its not because of traffic, it because of the terminals being back up that it takes 4 hours to get in and out. the new arena will have noe impact on Port of Seattle. The terminals are the problem!!!!

  • sw July 25, 2012 (3:30 pm)

    The notion expressed in WSCC’s letter that the Mercer corridor is better suited to arena traffic is pure lunacy.

  • Dick July 25, 2012 (3:39 pm)

    Might only be 19,000 people per game, but there’s 41 home games per season for both hockey and basketball. 82 x 19000 = a lot more people impeding your commute home. I’d love a hockey team here, but would prefer they build a stadium elsewhere.

  • tired of phoney testimonials July 25, 2012 (3:41 pm)

    I love the Sonics / I am a business owner in SoDo / I drive a truck / I am a WS business owner / and (insert pro-arena talking points here).

  • BarnyB July 25, 2012 (3:56 pm)

    Unreal man, just bring back our supersonics please, just unreal man.

  • West Seattle Since 1979 July 25, 2012 (4:03 pm)

    I’m really sad to hear that the WSCC has taken this position. I hope that no one takes this to mean that all of West Seattle is opposed to a new arena.

    I really hope they will explain why they’re opposing this.

  • Tom July 25, 2012 (4:06 pm)

    As to Godwin’s request for documentation, re: the loading issues at Key. Well, if you had been paying attention, the new Arena proposal has MONEY THAT THE CITY DOESN’T HAVE included in it for upgrades to Key, including access but it’s physically limited without spending way more than it’s worth to completely reconfigure. That’s not tax money, it’s coming straight from the investors.

    Oh, and did you notice that the Executive Director of the Key IS COMPLETELY IN FAVOR of the new arena proposal. ON THE RECORD. Look it up.

  • sw July 25, 2012 (4:13 pm)

    And… here come the trolls.

    Realistically, this is just posturing on the part of the WSCC and will have no bearing on the outcome of the council votes. Their letter has no facts or data to support their argument, and is simply a case of someone wanting their opinion to be heard.

  • PG July 25, 2012 (4:16 pm)

    I can’t believe they are contemplating yet another arena. I really hope this doesn’t come to pass.

  • eyeThink July 25, 2012 (4:20 pm)


    Do Mariners games impede your commute home?

    They do not for me. That is 81 games per season at 45,000.

    In addition, there are 82 games in a NBA season, half are played at home. That would make it 41 games.

  • eyeThink July 25, 2012 (4:25 pm)

    I wonder if the WSCC is opposed to all of the new condos that are being put up in the Junction, that would impede on the commute for fellow WSers, and delay the transportation of goods from SODO to local businesses.

  • West Seattle Since 1979 July 25, 2012 (4:26 pm)

    Just wanted to add: 19,000 is less than the M’s are averaging this year (22,000+). I don’t really notice the M’s traffic this year during the evening commute. (Years ago when they had 30,000+ attendance it was more noticeable.)

  • ryanl July 25, 2012 (4:37 pm)

    Maybe we could create a toll on 1st ave S. to help pay for the arena from all the traffic created?

  • RJB July 25, 2012 (4:45 pm)

    I agree to disagree…..bring the NBA back Seattle, where it still should be anyway.

  • george July 25, 2012 (4:50 pm)

    eyeThink: 41 NBA + 40 NHL = 81 home dates.

  • george July 25, 2012 (4:54 pm)

    WSCC should look closer to home for their traffic issues. Lets address the needs ON the peninsula before we point fingers outside the peninsula.
    However, I DO APPLAUD their stand on needing more access for cars and trucks in opposition to our mayor’s vehicle diet.

  • WsBoB July 25, 2012 (4:54 pm)

    It is unfortunate that Dave Montoure believes traffic will be worse heading in and out of W. Seattle because of a new arena in sodo. I believe his West 5 will be busier before and after the games.

  • ChefJoe July 25, 2012 (5:36 pm)

    the Key Arena upgrades are about $5 million as Hansen proposes. There may be some other TVs and scoreboards, hotdog carts that he’d move to the new arena. The MOU does not list Hansen paying any rent for the Key Arena if he decided to use it… only that he may use it. Beyond not paying rent, any tax revenues collected while playing at the Key can be assigned to either his ArenaCo bonds or the Key, it’s not specified which option the city would pursue.

    So, you put in $5 million and you can use the facility rent free for two+ years and any tax collections may or may not pay for your new arena. Sounds like a deal that’s full of Win for Hansen.

  • Seattleseabug July 25, 2012 (5:57 pm)

    I too wonder how the WSCC came up with this response. They may lose some WS support over this one.

  • WS Neighbor July 25, 2012 (6:03 pm)

    Wow, this is a poorly thought out, poorly written letter that jumps from claim to claim without bothering to document or substantiate any of them (assuming impacts from a gentrification of Sodo? Really?). Wscc, please know that a great many west seattleites are not happy that you would send such rubbish out as an official letter bearing the name of our great neighborhood.

  • Myron July 25, 2012 (6:31 pm)

    I can’t believe how many people bitch about traffic in this City…I’m from Los Angeles, and NONE of you really knows what BAD traffic really is like…We here in Seattle are not even close to what bad traffic is like compared to L.A!

    Traffic should not be an issue regarding this Arena…People will leave to get to a 7:30 pm game at around 6pm. Economically the City will get a big boost…I say Build It!

  • West Seattleite July 25, 2012 (6:31 pm)

    I keep hoping for a Link Light Rail branchline from SODO station to West Seattle. Instead, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce whines about an Arena that will have LITTLE IMPACT on West Seattle.

    What a great chamber of commerce we, in West Seattle, are blessed with. ROFL.

  • jedifarfy July 25, 2012 (6:46 pm)

    Why does it matter what they think? The Sonic fanboys and girls will get their precious new arena, the Sonics will come back, the team will lose all the time like every other Seattle team, traffic will continue to find new ways of becoming excruciating with no help or support, and no one will be happy.

    That’s how Seattle does things.

  • RG July 25, 2012 (6:46 pm)

    As someone who’s not a sports fan I have to say that even from my perspective the arena makes sense economically; the pros outweigh the cons.
    I’m glad that the Port is getting attention, it’s long overdue for some logistic restructuring.
    Mr. Montoure’s gentrification comment struck me oblique. I wonder what data he has to back that up.

  • Baymo July 25, 2012 (6:48 pm)

    Well, contact the member businesses you normally patronize and let them know they shouldn’t be taking a position on this.http://westseattle.wschamber.com/map

    They are supposed to be interested in supporting and promoting West Seattle businesses. I for one will make a point of steering clear of WSCC members as a result of this action.

  • ws bred July 25, 2012 (7:04 pm)


  • Philip Mariconda July 25, 2012 (7:32 pm)

    I respectfully disagree with the CoC on this one, and not just because I am a Hockey fan. My company just moved to SODO near the stadiums. There are so many empty storefronts, I don’t see how there can be a negative economic impact.
    Granted there’s not much room for a corresponding infrastructure upgrade, but added bus stops and buses at the right times should help a bit.

  • Amy July 25, 2012 (7:52 pm)

    I applaud all the arena supporters and am very dissapointed with WSCC.

  • boy July 25, 2012 (8:37 pm)

    The only thing that will help with traffic is the fact that the Ms just keep getting worse.

  • Wally July 25, 2012 (9:15 pm)

    Is the WSCC working off the same reports from 2007 like the rest of the port? Get real WSCC- the stadium
    is a good business decision and we need more business in this region. The traffic issue is b/c of the flipping tunnel fiasco.

  • CR July 25, 2012 (9:52 pm)

    I am a long time WS resident. Very disappointed in our WSCC. Appears to me there are bigger political agenda’s hidden in their message. This proposal has a zero to positive impact on West Seattle. This will only make our neighborhood far more desirable.

  • Husky July 25, 2012 (10:03 pm)

    This was a bad move by the Chamber. Just like the port they don’t have any facts backing up their statement.

  • cj July 25, 2012 (11:14 pm)

    There is no way this would not effect traffic getting on and off the West Seattle Bridge.

    I thought we were having trouble running libraries, funding education and providing food and health care to the needy. Why are we building monuments in times like this? If we want to bring commerce in with it, I think there is plenty of open space in some hard hit areas in king county with much more open traffic. Seattle needs to be cleaned up, not mucked up more with a cherry on top.

  • chris July 25, 2012 (11:54 pm)

    “family-wage jobs that would potentially be displaced by gentrification in Sodo” What? This proposal adds jobs to area as soon as ground brakes. Displaced jobs? Strippers, bouncers, a pet groomer and parking lot flaggers, Really WSCC?!

  • THERMO July 26, 2012 (12:10 am)

    They are “A volunteer-based group of businesses and community leaders”

    Did I miss a community meeting on this? Are you the same people that like building all the condos in the junction? Why do you get to speak for the community? Can I volunteer and join?

  • Yes SODO Arena! July 26, 2012 (12:55 am)

    WSCC does not speak for me! From someone who works in SODO and lives in West Seattle, what a miss-step by and disappointment in WSCC. Our family supports the new arena 100%. On Monday, the King County Council is scheduled to vote on the Sonics Arena proposal. Contact Councilmember Joe McDermott and our elected officials and let them know you support the arena: http://www.sonicsarena.com/action/

  • JD July 26, 2012 (6:11 am)

    Sounds good. More business’s and people need to speak up against this. Not the best location and will hurt the port and transportation that is already in place (as craptacular as it is). Like everything the SCC does though they will ignore common sense and go for it anyways, just like they did with the Paid Vacation ordinance.

  • anonyme July 26, 2012 (6:52 am)

    I don’t support any sports teams, and voted against the existing arenas. That said, the WSCC letter is silly and unfocused. As long as not a single penny of taxpayer money goes toward the facility, the infrastructure, the maintenance, traffic control, etc., etc., – why not?

  • ChefJoe July 26, 2012 (8:02 am)

    Actually the property tax increase of $2-3 per year is not going to the general fund, it’s going towards paying the arena bonds. So up to 300 pennies per year is going towards the facility.

  • WestisBest July 26, 2012 (8:22 am)

    Nice job today King County Council (not!)

    ENOUGH of the parliamentary intrigue. The Metropolitan King County Council hardly seems ready to vote next week on the county’s potential $80 million piece of the proposed sports arena in Seattle.

    A curious turn of events had the proposal popping out of the council’s budget committee, chaired by Councilmember Joe McDermott, without a vote by those charged with vetting the idea.

    The council is hardly playing a definitive role for its constituents, and the county’s financial interests, if it preliminarily signs off on an agreement with the caveat to “get back to us on these items when you learn more.”


  • tired of phoney testimonials July 26, 2012 (8:45 am)


  • Mark July 26, 2012 (9:06 am)

    I oppose the arena, the city ponying up my tax dollars for stadia (the new arena deal isn’t all privately financed)and the strange feeling of public ownership of private ventures, like pro sports.

    It amazes me how we, the general public, support public funding for private ventures if the scale is large enough.

  • Debra Becker July 26, 2012 (9:24 am)

    First, why do we need another sports arena in Seattle? Second, will this cost the tax payer money? As a tax payer that does not give a fig about sports, I object to taxes or government funds being used for sports. If, however, the land, arena, and teams are being paid for by private parties and sports attendees, then I am all for the sporties having their arenas as long as it does not affect other parties adversely.

  • mr. the horse July 26, 2012 (9:27 am)

    Some bankers, some lawyers and then… oh, now it get it: Director: Sally del Fierro, Port of Seattle.

    Chairman: Dave Montoure, West 5
    Vice Chair: John Huey, Viking Bank
    Past Chairman: Jerome O. Cohen, Law Offices of J. O. Cohen
    Treasurer: Kirk Mead, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
    Secretary: Dick Sherman, West Seattle Herald
    Patricia Mullen: President / CEO

    Director: Stuart Crandall, Westwood Village
    Director: Karen Sisson, Senior Center of West Seattle
    Director: Betsy Bell, Betsy Bell’s Health4U
    Director: Amy Lee Derenthal, The Kenney
    Director: Sally del Fierro, Port of Seattle
    Director: Bonnie David, Salty’s on Alki
    Director: Dotty Spadoni Hughes, First Mutual Bank

  • tired of phoney testimonials July 26, 2012 (10:47 am)

    The average post here gets about a dozen comments. All of a sudden, a business organization, largely not discussed, takes a position on something that is not particularly controversial. And, like magic, all of these “concerns” that just happen to be in favor of an arena, repeating all of the talking points, come out of no where.

    Everyone knows that burying threads in your own rhetoric is part of the new PR game that gets played in politics. Yet we are supposed to believe that outpouring of rage at those unreasonable Chamber people is a sudden spontaneous outpouring of concern. Give me a break.

    • WSB July 26, 2012 (10:59 am)

      Not to refute you at all, phoney, but we do watch for things such as “multiple posts under different names from same IP” and a few other things we won’t disclose, and screen for that as well. There are about 20 commenters in this thread so far, on both sides, who are frequent WSB commenters on a variety of issues. Many issue-related stories do tend to get 40-50 or so (Lincoln Park zipline, 250+) – while there are many stories we publish that get zero, and that’s fine, because being read by as many people as possible (15,000/day most days) is the goal, not drawing x comments. Also, to the person with the Chamber board list, I don’t know the current list, but that one’s not up to date – CEO Patti Mullen left last year and no replacement has been hired; meantime, I recognize at least one name on that list as someone who is no longer working at the business listed. Just a datapoint – TR

  • Wallis July 26, 2012 (11:00 am)

    Thank you, WSCC. the people on this blog proposing the arena in this location have let their enthusism for the Sonics outweigh the absolutely legitimate and important goal of keeping SODO in freight, warehousing, and light manufacturing. The arena will also make getting to W. Seattle more difficult. I’m not against a new arena but who the heck says Hansen has a right to say it’s either his way or the highway? Force him to seriously consider Key Arena or Belleveue.

  • ChefJoe July 26, 2012 (11:22 am)

    I won’t claim to know exactly where all the posters come from, but I can tell you that mobile phones with web access are commonly used to do poll flooding as they can get a new IP address pretty easily (switch to airplane mode and then back to normal or move to new mobile tower).

    • WSB July 26, 2012 (11:28 am)

      Like I said, we have other ways to watch :) not foolproof but always trying to keep up with the times. Not that it’s really worth anybody’s trouble to try to swamp a site like ours, which, while it has the largest news audience in this area, is small compared to a citywide site, and I’m sure one of those will write about this eventually … Thanks! – TR

  • Dick July 26, 2012 (11:29 am)

    @eyethink. Yes, Mariners games do indeed affect my commute. As a freelance worker I work all around the Seattle area, frequently on the east side. Mariner traffic adds at least 20 minutes to my commute when I’m coming home from there. Also, when the viaduct is gone and 99 becomes a bypass and not a way in and out of the city, everyone taking 1st and 4th will be fighting through the extra traffic on their commutes.

  • george July 26, 2012 (1:02 pm)

    Right. And with the wonderful traffic engineers the city employs, when the tunnel is done, all those issues will go away and cars will flow smoothly everywhere, regardless of an event, rush hour, more families, businesses, office towers and increased port trucks moving freight. Right? So why would an arena be the ultimate tipping point? Heck, I am excited about a multi purpose area, not just sports, folks. Think of all the family events there, concerts, and meetings that can be held there. And, its a transit center to boot. What’s not to like. 300 pennies per year? There’s a bigger issue there than three bucks. Don’t ask me to validate libraries, arts, and schools if you can’t work together with everyone.

  • West Seattle Wanderer July 26, 2012 (1:51 pm)

    They should have put an arena in the tunnel, seems that sports are the only thing to get funded around here quickly and without public input.

    I’m not opposed to sports but I take issue with anyone who denies that traffic to West Seattle is not effected on game days. I recently drove home from an appointment in Madison Park and it took me an hour and 20 to get home as there was a Sounders game that just let out. My bad for not being hyper-vigilant about the day’s events but my point is that big games cause big traffic.

    I do not want even 300 of my pennies going toward this, not when toll roads are going in and our city is struggling in other areas (the criminal justice system to name one). I’d like my tax dollars to go to better use than making my drive time 3x what it should be.

  • Kathy July 26, 2012 (3:01 pm)

    WS Chamber, you hit the nail on the head. We already have tremendous problems getting through SODO when there are major events in the existing sports facilities. These problems need to be resolved before making them worse. If you depend on public transportation and you live in West or Southwest Seattle, you most likely have to go through SODO to get downtown or to transfer to any other part of the city. If there is game traffic it can take an hour and a half to get to or from my own destination at Seattle Center by bus. After we get a traffic mobility solution in SODO, then we can consider siting the arena there, but not before. As to building an arena for the NBA, it is a high $$ stakes private enterprise and the land for the arena should not be turned over to the city (which will decrease City revenue and result in higher property taxes for the rest of us.) The owners of the facility can raise the ticket prices to cover their property tax bill. If I want to support the NBA I can buy a ticket.

  • a July 26, 2012 (4:36 pm)

    WSCC shame on you! Don’t send a letter to the city council acting like you speak on behalf of the citizens of west Seattle. Just from reading these comments I can see the majority of people responding support the arena. The only part of your letter you got right was when you said the arena will impact the quality of life for our residents. It will impact our lives and it will be a great impact for the thousands upon thousands of us that will go to this arena and support our sonics! For all you whiners complaining about the arena remember this. I don’t go to the opera or symphony or whatever you do to have fun but I don’t complain when our money goes to fund your buildings. It’s a quality of life issue so do what you do to have fun and stop hating on us who have fun in a different way than you or we will start throwing fits next time you want to upgrade benaroya hall.

  • mr. the horse July 26, 2012 (6:15 pm)


    I grabbed the list of council members off the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce website. Here’s the link:


  • Tracey July 26, 2012 (7:44 pm)

    I think that the Chamber of Commerce reps have some valid points in opposing it. The traffic especially would be an issue after the viaduct comes completely down and when people are looking for alternate ways to get back into West Seattle from downtown, etc. At least that is the first thing that came to my mind when hearing of another stadium down there.

  • Hockey Fan July 26, 2012 (11:54 pm)

    Welcome NHL!!!! (AND basketball too if it brings the NHL!) I completely disagree with WSCC. The closest NHL team is in Canada!! There aren’t even any ice rinks in Seattle. The closest ones are Kent and Renton. Are they going to have a side rink for amateur figure skaters and hockey players like at Comcast arena? Me and many parents would support that as well. I would gladly pay our hockey fees to the new arena and take the bus to reduce traffic instead of cramming on the freeways to get to Renton. Either way, I support the new arena!

    Doesn’t another arena CREATE more jobs anyway?? (Not take them away). If traffic was such a concern Seattle should have thought twice about building an overpriced tunnel with only ONE downtown exit and proposing exorbitant tolls. What’s next? We are eliminating all downtown jobs because we can’t plan our traffic effectively enough to eliminate gridlock?? Ridiculous!

    If the arena goes through, WE’LL be hanging a huge welcoming banner on OUR West Seattle house!! :) WELCOME NHL!!!!!

  • blessedmama July 27, 2012 (1:01 am)

    I have to say, good point “Common”. I never really thought of it that way, but it is very true! I thought I was part of a small handful of Sonics arena supporters in WS but I see that I’m not alone. I really hope this passes and we get a basketball team back. I would be interested to know how many people went to the Mariner’s game tonight because we did and there really wasn’t any traffic to complain about. Game started at 7:10 and was over at 10. I wasn’t in any sort of congestion. I honestly don’t know what time basketball games would start, if I remember right they usually started about that same time, just were shorter??

  • robert July 27, 2012 (9:11 am)

    If the taxpayers of seattle get the new stadium puahed down their throat at least spread the wealth around. put it in BALLARD lots of room , no competing arenas,plenty of bicycle paths so traffic won’t be competing with the mayor’s chosen .few.and we in west seattle can enjoy our traffic jams in peace.

  • Dick July 27, 2012 (10:59 am)

    Blessedmama, it’s not a matter of getting to/from the game from W Seattle. It’s getting home to W Seattle from other parts of the city when you have to go through SODO.

    I’d love a hockey team. But not so much that I’m willing to make south end traffic any worse or cough up any $ for a stadium.

  • a July 27, 2012 (1:18 pm)

    If you want to argue against the arena and you have valid points then I will gladly read what you have to say and counter. I am getting tired of hearing and reading peoples complaints about the arena and taxes. This will not affect your taxes if you don’t use it! Educate yourselves before you start complaining about the arena! Chris Hansen, the Nordstrom brothers and Steve Balmer all have deep roots in this great city. Why can’t you guys see that they are trying to help their city which they love as much as you and I? This city is what made these guys great, successful people and they are trying to pay back this city by righting a wrong that was done to us by a fraudulent, phoney, fake who lied to us and made us believe he cared about this city. This same guy laid off hundreds of local workers including a friend of mine so he could save money by having people in New Mexico do the job for less money. So all you haters who keep bashing our local guys who are trying to help us, keep enjoying that overpriced cup of coffee from that phoney and the rest of us real seattleites will keep fighting and stand behind our local people until we get our team and a new arena. It will happen so quit crying and embrace it! Our city needs this!

  • Dick July 27, 2012 (4:20 pm)

    Wow, the only bashing going on here is you bashing those who disagree with you. And don’t kid yourself. Those good local folks who want to build that arena aren’t (in this case) philanthropists trying to “right a wrong”, they see an opportunity to make $$$.

  • a July 27, 2012 (5:23 pm)

    You are absolutely right Dick. These guys do see an opportunity to make money. They did not become filthy rich by not taking opportunities to make money. The difference between them and one Coward Shultz is that these guys actually care about Seattle. They can make their money, the city can make money and us Sonics fans can get our team back. Sounds like a win, win, win situation to me. What are your arguments against this proposal Dick? Please don’t say traffic or taxes because traffic impact will be minimal and there is no tax argument so I would love to hear your rebuttal there Dick.

  • West Seattle since 1979 July 27, 2012 (8:53 pm)

    Dick, I don’t think it’s a fair comparison to compare Sounders traffic to the traffic that would come with the proposed arena if it gets built. The Sounders average about 39,000 a game. The new arena will only hold 19,000. That’s a huge difference.

    The arena traffic could be compared to this year’s Mariners traffic. They average about 22,000 a game this year, and as someone who works in Pioneer Square and commutes to West Seattle, I don’t see any difference this year in traffic on nights when the M’s are in town. (This was different in the past, as they used to draw a lot more fans when they were better.)

    Last night (7/26) I rode a 22 bus down 4th Avenue at about 5:40 on my way home to West Seattle, and we moved right along with no holdups, even though there was an M’s game last night.

    (I tried to post this comment last night during my commute but ended up putting it on the wrong blog entry due to a glitch with my phone’s browser that I didn’t notice until it was too late. Sorry for posting twice, but I really wanted to mention this comparison.)

  • dawsonct July 28, 2012 (9:46 am)

    Next time one of you is sitting alone in your Escalade or Yukon on your three mile paved commute to downtown, held up by all the traffic around you, just start flipping off all those inconsiderate drivers around you who are making your commute a living hell-on-earth. I’m sure that will be an effective solution to our traffic woes.
    At least, I assume it will be. I don’t know, since I’m sitting on a bus reading or watching the scenery or taking a little nap and generally not fuming about my commute, which transits SODO and downtown to S. Lake Union.
    Get out of your car. Take a different route. Not as easy as bitchin’ and moanin’, but a hell of a lot more effective.

  • Casino Green July 29, 2012 (12:33 am)

    i guess West Seattle is pulling back Dow’s endorsement.


  • David July 30, 2012 (10:23 am)

    How do we vote out the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce leaders for this farce ?

  • JoAnne July 30, 2012 (9:27 pm)

    I don’t understand the chamber’s position. If they are concerned with our traffic problems, why do they not oppose the unrestricted high-density development?
    We in the midst of a traumatic transition from a safe, quiet, residential neighborhood to noisy, dangerous, overpopulated and gridlocked shambles.
    The density explosion affects public life far more seriously than an arena 4 miles outside the area could ever do.

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