Oct 052014
 

In this clip from the Seattle Channel’s Civic Cocktail program October 1st, Dow Constantine was asked about the NBA arena.

 

Dow is still thinking Hansen will bring basketball to Seattle, even without Steve Ballmer.  Then again, Dow and the county benefit greatly from a “free rider” position in the NBA arena if only one team, the NBA, is signed on by the time the building is completed.

  
 Posted by at 9:19 pm
Oct 022014
 

After months of delay and meandering careful collection of detailed analysis and predictions, Hansen’s team has submitted all requested info to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development.  As you can see by hours billed, work has been sparse, on the city’s side, for many months.

King5’s Chris Daniels continues to beat the arena drum, including dropping old details into his stories and not reporting the more negative finding that other outlets have (the leaders did not want to open the MOU to NHL first at this time).

The NHL is widely believed to be anxious to bring a team to the Seattle market. There was no formal presentation about the market during a league meeting on Tuesday. An NHL spokesman also said there were no formal talks about expansion during the owners meetings in New York City.

The league’s commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly both flew to Seattle earlier this year, along with potential owner Victor Coleman. They all met with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine. Bettman later said the meeting was to get an update on the status of the arena. Murray says the league leaders also asked the city about the possibility of changing the Memorandum of Understanding on the arena, to allow for an NHL team to prompt construction.

 

Paul Allen Wants to Put NHL in Portland

Humorously, one ex-Microsoftee who actually lives in Seattle is speaking publicly about their desire to put an NHL team into the underutilized arena his LLC owns. Once you own the building, it really helps to have as many events in it as possible (and it’s best if the potential team owner is interested in doing that to minimize their sunk arena costs, or else you end up with Ackerley).

  
Jun 102014
 

Donald Sterling has reversed course, instead vowing to fight the sale of the LA Clippers to Steve Ballmer.  Yes, we all saw this coming, but that doesn’t make this any less amusing.

“From the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers,” he said in the letter. “I believe that Adam Silver acted in haste by illegally ordering the forced sale of the Clippers, banning me for life from the NBA and imposing the fine. Adam Silver’s conduct in doing so without conducting any real investigation was wrong.

“The action taken by Adam Silver and the NBA constitutes a violation of my rights and fly in the face of the freedoms that are afforded to all Americans.”

Different circumstances, entirely, but it will be entertaining to see what goes on in a lawsuit against the NBA (like so many had suggested Hansen should do re: the Kings).  Will LeBron and the Players Association follow through on their threats to boycott ?

  
May 292014
 

We’re all in (LA bitches, Seattle can keep their rain clouds)!

Steve Ballmer has had enough time on the sidelines and, now that he’s retired, doesn’t need Hansen as his “the city should have some skin in the game” pauper beard anymore.  $2B to buy the LA Clippers, with a promise not to relocate.

Of course, the Sterlings still have to interject some drama here.  Per ESPN:

 The agreement is going straight to the NBA for final approval and does not require additional approval from banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling, according to sources.

The Sterling family trust, which owned the Clippers, had rules and guidelines regarding mental incapacitation, sources told Shelburne and ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell. Very recently, sources said, Donald Sterling was found by experts to be incapacitated. His wife Shelly Sterling then became the sole trustee and had the power to deal directly with Ballmer, according to sources.

If I were to coin a hashtag, I guess Hansen got #Ballmered

Art Thiel’s perpective on all this:

Ballmer was Seattle’s muscle when it came to getting the NBA back to town. He partnered with Seattle native Chris Hansen to seek an arena in SoDo and relocate the Kings from Sacramento, a futile 15-month saga that previously led the Can You Top This? list of implausible sports-business stories.

When Sacramento, led by Kevin Johnson, an ex-NBA star turned Sactown mayor and forever the pet of former commissioner David Stern, found the money and the arena plan one year ago to keep the Kings, it was the beginning of the end for Ballmer’s Seattle ambitions.

  
May 272014
 

Ok, so this could all be bluster, but this is absolutely an insane amount of money for an NBA team.  Maybe we all vastly under-estimate how profitable this game is.  Remind me again how Ballmer and Hansen couldn’t pay for their own building ?

 

From Sterling’s response, it sounds like I need to pick up some popcorn.

INTRODUCTION
On the basis of remarks made in a livingroom during a “lovers’ quarrel,” which were illegally recorded and then disclosed months later in retaliation for a lawsuit by Mr. Sterling’s wife, the NBA seeks to forcibly strip Mr. Sterling and his wife of their ownership interest in the Los Angeles Clippers. The NBA’s use of this illegal recording constitutes a clear and blatant violation of Mr. Sterling’s California constitutional rights. The authors of the charge did not have the courage, decency, or honesty to acknowledge the circumstances surrounding Mr. Sterling’s jealous rant or even that the source of their information was borne from the “fruit of the poisonous tree.” So, in reality, Mr. Sterling is being banned for life, fined $2.5 million, and stripped of his ownership for a purely private conversation with his lover that he did not know was being recorded and that he never intended would see the light of day. We do not believe a court in the United States of America will enforce the draconian penalties imposed on Mr. Sterling in these circumstances, and indeed, we believe that preservation of Mr. Sterling’s constitutional rights requires that these sham proceedings be terminated in Mr. Sterling’s favor. This is particularly true when over its entire history the NBA has never fined anyone as much as $2.5 million, never suspended any owner for life, and never undertaken to confiscate an owner’s team for any offense, much less an alleged offense originating in a conversation in a private setting that was illegally recorded

 

I Missed My Chance ?

update 5/28  at 7PM PST

 

Bids are In

update 5/29 at 4 PM

The first round of bids are in, Ballmer may be in the lead.

Sources close to the process believe that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s group currently has the leading bid, however the situation remains fluid as negotiations continue with the two other strong groups and Shelly Sterling works to persuade her husband of 58 years to agree to sell the team.

  
May 172014
 

Ace reporter Chris Daniels didn’t want to let Geoff Baker have all the limelight this weekend.  Chris’s contribution is to point out that potential NHL team owner Coleman’s LLCs have bought land in SoDo.

Where, you ask ?

Victor Coleman related LLCs purchased most of that block with the purple plat and the wedge-shaped block where ING and EMC have offices.  Everyone Panic! (j/k)

Victor Coleman related LLCs purchased most of that block with the purple plat and the wedge-shaped block where ING and EMC have offices. Everyone Panic! (j/k)

It seems like all but the upper right corner of that block with the purple-bounded plat was purchased for $57 million in February as a part of a Hudson Merrill Place LLC acquisition.  That means CowGirls Inc has a new landlord.  It also has some land use restrictions related to being in the Pioneer Square Preservation District.

More recently, the wedge-shaped block immediately south of the indicated purple plat was purchased for $225 million by Hudson First and King LLC from King and Dearborn LLC (previously once owned by Starbucks, because they’re landlords now).  It’s where ING and EMC have offices and has some intimidating land use restrictions related to open space preservation.

 

Would it make sense to build an arena there?  Not really.  It’s even narrower than Hansen’s property and has King Street running through the middle.  Nobody is getting a street vacation on something that leads to the waterfront.

  
May 162014
 

The Wall Street Journal sat down with Steve Ballmer and talked about his golf game, the new CEO, and if he’d buy the Clippers.  It turns out, Steve has considered that option but doesn’t feel obligated to bring the NBA to Seattle.  He may be a billionaire, but he’s not foolish with his money.

WSJ: You’ve tried a couple times to buy an NBA franchise to return a basketball team to Seattle. Are you interested in the Los Angeles Clippers, if the team goes up for sale?

Ballmer: I have nothing definitive to say. Am I right on top of what’s going on there? Absolutely I am. I love basketball, and I’d love to participate at some point in the NBA. If the opportunity is outside of Seattle, so be it. I will learn about any team that comes up for sale at this point.

WSJ: So you wouldn’t move the Clippers to Seattle?

Ballmer: If I get interested in the Clippers, it would be for Los Angeles. I don’t work anymore, so I have more geographic flexibility than I did a year, year-and-a half ago. Moving them anywhere else would be value destructive.

  
May 142014
 

As local sports reporter Chris Daniels put it -  “This is the strongest sign yet of the National Hockey League’s interest in putting a franchise in Seattle.”

NHL head honchos Gary Bettman and Bill Daly flew to Seattle last week (came to Seattle first for a playoff game in LA?) and met with Mayor Murray and Exec Constantine to obtain a status report on the new arena.  Oddly, the president of the Seattle City Council (you know, that group that historically is at odds with half-assed plans out of the Mayor’s office and actually needs to vote to go forward on any arena deals), Tim Burgess wasn’t invited.

Daniels also provided an updated timeline on the environmental review for Hansen’s arena.  Once anticipated to be ready around late 2013, the lost Kings pushed expectations back to late summer, and now “sometime in fall, if we get moving again”.

Bryan Stevens, spokesperson for the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, said on Tuesday that the environmental review on the project is now not scheduled to be completed until “sometime this fall”.  He added, that he believed, that there had been “no measurable movement” in the last few weeks.