SEATTLE -- Mayor McGinn promises no new taxes for an arena. Yet people are concerned that a new arena could drain the city's already stretched budget.
New arena deal has many nervous in Seattle
Mayor McGinn promises no new taxes for an arena. Yet people are concerned that a new arena could drain the city's already stretched budget.
For the people who will likely never afford a ticket to a new sports arena the prospect of any public investment is a concern.
At the Bread of Life Mission, where nearly 8,000 homeless on Seattle's streets are served, the concern is whether an arena deal would cut into social service funds they receive.
Many of the people we serve don't know where their next meal is coming from, said Willie Parish with the Bread of Life Mission. If it doesn't take away from social services i think its great. If it takes away at risk...I think we need to rethink it.
Six years ago, when Seattle lost the SuperSonics, the public voted overwhelmingly for Initiative 91, which prohibits the city from supporting any sports team unless the investment yielded a profit.
KING 5 is being told that every member of the city council is mindful of that. There can be no negative effects on social services.
If we put forth any public dollars, we need those dollars back...plus extra, said Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata.
A Seattle citizens group has already been formed by the mayor to measure the economic impact on the community, especially minorities.
El Centro runs an employment program and we are constantly looking for work for our people, so here is a huge opportunity, said Estela Ortega with El Centro de la Raza.
Real Change vendor Mike Hall has been on the streets for 15 years and believes any new arena must come entirely from private money.
I think it should all be private at this point. If the (NBA) wants to play here, then basketball should invest in basketball, said Mike Hall.
Seattle citizens still owe $69.3 million for the Kingdome, which was imploded more than a decade ago. And King County says we'll be paying off the Kingdome long into the future.
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