My statement regarding agreement on proposed new sports arena:
Today, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, released the following statement in response to the agreement reached by Chris Hansen, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Mike McGinn on a new multi-purpose sports arena. The agreement includes no new taxes to build a new arena.
“The potential $800 million dollar private investment in a new arena and NBA/NHL team is nationally unprecedented. We will assure unparalleled security provisions to protect taxpayers. The Sonics left four years ago and to speak bluntly, this could be our one shot, one opportunity to bring the Sonics back for a long time.”
“It is important for the public to understand that the proposed arena project will be self-financed through the use of revenue that would not exist without the project. Admissions tax, parking tax, sales tax, business & occupation tax, and property tax from arena operations will pay back the City bonds. The Council will be diligent, prudent and timely in reviewing this agreement. I understand the importance of the port and maritime industry and I look forward to working with them to protect their future and the $3 billion in revenue they bring to our region.”
“I applaud Mr. Hansen, the Executive and the Mayor for transmitting the proposed Memorandum of Understanding and the Interlocal agreement to the City and County Council and the ball is now in our court in moving this forward.”
“The team formerly known as the SuperSonics will play the Lakers tonight and I can only imagine the buzz and energy in this town.”
Press Statement issued Thursday, February 16, 2012
SEATTLE – Today, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, released the following statement in response to the proposal by Christopher Hansen for a new NBA and NHL arena. The proposal includes no new taxes to build a new arena.
“Today’s announcement to bring back an NBA team and an NHL team is an incredible economic opportunity for jobs and small businesses, but its greatest impact will be on our community and youth. I have been a youth mentor for decades and for many, sports is a universal language for our youth and instills discipline and confidence in our children. At rec centers and playgrounds all across Seattle, I have watched kids imitating Gary Payton’s signature baseline spin move or Fred Brown’s perfect jump shot. I have witnessed the discipline and confidence transfer into success in the classroom.”
“Seattle is a world-class city and many in our state enjoy our football, baseball, and soccer teams. I want us to work together on bringing back a basketball team and a new hockey team. In the last two weeks, Jeremy Lin has transcended American sports as the first American-born Chinese or Taiwanese player. Jeremy has taught us all not to give up on our dreams. He is a testament of hard work and seizing the opportunity. I applaud Mr. Hansen, the Mayor and County Executive Constantine for keeping the hopes and dreams of sports enthusiasts alive and I am excited about bringing basketball back to our city.”
The Seattle Storm embarked on their tenth season on Saturday, June 6th, with a victory over the Monarchs in Sacramento. SWEET! On Sunday, June 7th, I had the opportunity to read a proclamation before the tip-off of their home opener, declaring it Seattle Storm Day. I was joined on the floor by my colleague, Councilmember Jan Drago. The energy in the Key was electric as the Storm went on to win the game 80-70. More than 9,000 people attended the game. They let their voices be heard, as they expressed their adoration for the team. When I watch the Storm, I am always very impressed with their selfless style of play and the crowd’s die-hard enthusiasm.
I cannot say enough about the impact sports has in Seattle. Let’s not underestimate its importance on morale, business generation, mentorship, revenue and our sense of community. It was my pleasure to honor the Storm. I look forward to another exciting, successful season. Go Storm!
View the proclamation (left image) that was read by Councilmember Drago and I before the game.
Photo credit: Aaron Last/Storm Photos
On March 26, 2009, Mayor Nickels and I celebrated the magnificent drawings done by the students at Madrona K-8 Elementary School. Students in Ms. Letta Baker’s class were asked to develop images of their three favorite historical figures. They developed images of President Obama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Abraham Lincoln. The top seven pictures have been on display in my office at City Hall since March 20, where onlookers and viewers have been amazed. On March 26, these paintings were transported to the Mayor’s floor for another viewing, where people were equally impressed with the work.
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On Monday, March 16, 2009, we all received news of the inevitable—the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as we know it printed its final edition for the Tuesday (March 17, 2009) circulation. The paper, which began in 1863, is 146 years old and is our City’s oldest business. It is a casualty of changing times which have been exacerbated by the current economic recession. The P-I will still continue to run as an online publication with 20-25 professional news staff, but a majority of the 167 employees will lose their jobs. According to a representative from the Hearst Corporation, the online version will be “a new type of digital business with a robust, community news and information web site at its core.” I am pleased that the P-I will continue online at least. However, I believe that we are losing a significant piece of our city which lends itself to creating a balanced discussion of news and issues.
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