Tuesday, April 30, 2013
There's an old adage - fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. The NBA has done it again to Seattle.
Ok, so the owners have voted the move to Seattle down. Time to look at this rom a different perspective - the true cost of this maneuver.
I've believed all along that this is less about the value of keeping the Kings in SacTown and more about KJ's personal political aspirations. Few truly understand what this has really been about, but some 'get it'. That is not to say he hasn't done a solid job rallying the troops to this cause – that’s unquestionable – the question is at what cost? What about Campbell's leaving town ending thousands of jobs? What about the school closures they endure because they can't even fund basic education? Yeah, those don’t reap big headlines, do they, Mr. Mayor?
This isn't about Seattle vs. Sacramento - that's what KJ is selling and it's easy (and shameful) to do. Both cities have great fans; that’s undeniable. KJ is playing the ‘us against them’ tactic as a hollow, predicable and successful rallying cry, in a blatant diversionary tactic to hide the fact that Sacramento's economic situation tells us they cannot afford this.
This isn't about the fans, this is basic economics. Those that can get past the emotional element that KJ has been exploiting have to be scratching their head at Sacramento's ability to actually finance this in a city that is basically broke - and the moral obligation to the betterment of Sacramento that has been tossed aside by KJ in his power play to further his political aspirations. Eventually, the faux arena plan will likely fall apart in SacTown because it will be revealed for what it really is; a smoke an mirror routine. But for now, he will trumpet this as a victory. I hope for SacTown’s sake they can pull it off – the fans deserve it – but what about the taxpayers?
The arena plan is not at all solid, they don't own the land, they are suggesting parking meter revenue will pay for it (how can you not laugh at that?) -and that in the end, after KJ has left the mayor's office for another one, the true cost for this, will be handed off to the taxpayers after he is gone from office.
It's the perfect crime - jump on an emotional issue - win that issue - reap all the glory - and after everything has calmed down, cooler heads prevail (after most importantly, after KJ is gone, the next administration will be left with the true cost.
Seattle had the perfect plan. They'll be fine with or without the NBA, but can the citizens of Sacramento really afford to be footing the bill for KJ's political aspirations? Too bad we'll finds out after it's too late.
Meanwhile in Seattle, they have a solid and approved arena plan, they land is owned by Hansen and they have the money to do all of this. Getting fooled twice by the NBA could be a blessing for the NHA - perhaps the NBA's latest debacle will turn Seattle into a hockey town.