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Friday, July 27, 2018

Report: Mariners won’t sign Safeco Field lease unless they get $180 million in taxpayer funds

An understatement, to put it mildly:

In May, the Seattle Mariners proudly announced that they had agreed to terms on a new 25-year lease that would have kept them in Safeco Field through the 2049 season. The team had an ambition vision for the stadium’s place in Seattle.

“We want this ballpark to be our home for the next 100 years. Safeco Field should be to Seattle and to the Mariners what Wrigley Field is to Chicago and the Cubs and Fenway Park is to Boston and the Red Sox,” Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton said in a statement at the time.

Apparently, that plan has hit a rather large snag.

 

QLE Posted: July 27, 2018 at 08:14 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: greed, mariners, safeco field, seattle, stadium issues

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   1. The Duke Posted: July 27, 2018 at 08:36 PM (#5717192)
Looks like the city tried to pull a bait and switch. As with all things sports related they will back down and lose
   2. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: July 27, 2018 at 09:01 PM (#5717202)
Not sure where you're getting that impression.

Just reading about it now, but it looks like the County Executive promised the Mariners funding that requires approval from the County Council, but the County Council isn't on board. That it needed additional approval was not being kept from the Mariners.

The only clear lie I see here is the original claim by the government that the $180m was not a quid pro quo for the lease.
   3. The Duke Posted: July 27, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5717215)
so, you think they announced to the world a deal where $180 million issue was unresolved? Possible, but not likely
   4. Sunday silence Posted: July 27, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5717220)
if you read the article it certainly sounds like that's what happened.
   5. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: July 27, 2018 at 10:14 PM (#5717225)
That does appear to be what happened, yes.
   6. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: July 27, 2018 at 10:41 PM (#5717238)
I think the Mariners made the announcement in order to make the politicians look bad if they turned them down. 25 years ago, the first funding deal for the new stadium was rejected, and this same Mariners exec, John Stanton, tearfully announced they were leaving town. He must be their go-to guy for announcements like this.
   7. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: July 28, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5717380)
The incredible cluster #### that is the Seattle Council (and King county's, which is the relevant authority here) is too dense to unpack here but the Mariners have zero leverage and that's why the county is holding their feet to the fire.

I have no doubt the county will squander the funds, funneling them mostly to useless "for profit non profits" that have a mafia like grip on homeless services and affordable housing -- but what are the Mariners going to do? Move? Come on.
   8. The Duke Posted: July 28, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5717419)
Atlanta wouldn’t pay up so Braves moved to Cobb county. Surely the same dynamic could work in seattle
   9. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 28, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5717427)
Atlanta wouldn’t pay up so Braves moved to Cobb county. Surely the same dynamic could work in seattle
I hardly think that Cobb County would support two baseball teams.
   10. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: July 28, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5717432)
Atlanta wouldn’t pay up so Braves moved to Cobb county. Surely the same dynamic could work in seattle


yea Western Washington is not Cobb county. There's not much land out here and there is zero political will to even partially fund a stadium -- see Chris Hansen's battle on the SODO arena. There would be a 10 year "environmental impact" study before a single shovel hit the ground and I'm only half kidding.

The Mariners have a great stadium in a great neighborhood and are very profitable. They aren't going anywhere. The county knows this, which is why they are ####### with them.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: July 28, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5717457)
The Mariners have a great stadium in a great neighborhood and are very profitable. They aren't going anywhere. The county knows this, which is why they are ####### with them.


Yeah, they're not leaving Cascadia Field.
   12. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5717479)
Cobb county raised their taxes for this year. They have said that doing so will mean all services will be fully funded along with we can hire some more police and buy them some cars. I’m guessing there would be more money in the kitty if we didn’t have to buy a stadium for the Braves.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2018 at 06:45 PM (#5717496)
To be clear, I despise public funding of such things but, depending on how it's structured, $180 M spread over the 25 years is a pretty trivial $7 M per year. If it's also back-loaded or comes in the form of stuff like stadium maintenance, road maintenance and transport improvements they'd probably be spending on anyway, this doesn't have to be a big deal.

Actually bothering to read the article, I see the Ms want it for "stadium maintenance." Now it's perfectly acceptable that a tenant expect the landlord to keep the place in good shape, it's rather unusual for the landlord to do this by giving the tenant money to make their own improvements. So I suspect shenanigans. I also see this comes out of the hotel tax that will have paid off all stadium debts in a couple years and the Ms now want this money to flow to them. Seems other Seattle sports teams would want a cut of that as well (since I assume they've always had one). Or maybe the article is unclear and the Ms are only asking for their traditional cut.

Anyway, Montreal Mariners has a ring to it. :-) ... I completely agree, they've got nowhere to go.
   14. QLE Posted: July 28, 2018 at 07:45 PM (#5717510)
yea Western Washington is not Cobb county. There's not much land out here and there is zero political will to even partially fund a stadium -- see Chris Hansen's battle on the SODO arena. There would be a 10 year "environmental impact" study before a single shovel hit the ground and I'm only half kidding.


There's also an important aspect of geography to consider. In the Atlanta metropolitan area, Fulton County contains a relatively small portion of the total population, and the suburban counties around it are not too far away from one another. In the Seattle metropolitan area, King County is both a lot larger and contains a lot more residents- looking at the map, the one real option Mariners management has that would still be in state and accessible to most of the current fans is Tacoma, and they'd probably demand a name change.
   15. Adam Starblind Posted: July 29, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5717617)
it's rather unusual for the landlord to do this by giving the tenant money to make their own improvements.


Actually it isn't. Generally in the form of rent abatement, so it's the amount here rather than the type of transaction that's unusual for a commercial lease.
   16. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: July 29, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5717672)
looking at the map, the one real option Mariners management has that would still be in state and accessible to most of the current fans is Tacoma, and they'd probably demand a name change.


The Seattle Mariners of Tacoma it is!
   17. John Northey Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5717704)
Always disgusting when teams beg for money from cities imo. If more would just say no this would end. The Jays know that Toronto will not give another cent, nor will the feds or the province here so they are fixing up the old SkyDome on their own. Federally and provincially (here in Ontario at least) there is a rule that no money will go to pro-sports teams anymore. Some cities still blow it but the other levels are cutting back as the economics of pro sports makes no sense for tax payers to subsidize it.

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