SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners confirmed Wednesday that the organization has helped fund opposition to a new SODO sports arena, including partially paying for a recent poll of city residents.
“We haven’t changed our position,” said Rebecca Hale, spokesperson for the Mariners.
Hale said the organization partially financed a poll taken last week that found a majority of registered voters opposed public bonding on the proposed $490 million project that would put a basketball and hockey arena just south of Safeco Field.
“Our concern is the location,” said Hale, “which is the concern of the other groups, which is why we’ve been part of that coalition.”
She could not answer why the Mariners, which received public financing to build Safeco, funded a poll asking about public financing.
Hale said the MLB franchise is not concerned about competition from competing sports franchises.
The Mariners are not alone in their opposition to the Arena proposal. They have been joined by the Port of Seattle, ILWU, Pacific Maritime Shipping Association, and others in funding the campaign. Traffic and jobs are the major themes of the opposition movement.
The Seattle City Council is currently debating investor Chris Hansen’s proposal, which asks for up to $200 million in public financing to be repaid by taxes on arena revenue. The proposal already has the approval of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council.