With Seattle unable to figure out how best to get the NBA back in town, our slightly more aromatic neighbors to the south are ready to step in and woo professional basketball (or hockey!) their own damn selves.
"The NBA will be back in this market," Mayor Marilyn Strickland said Tuesday. "When they are, I want Tacoma to be in the mix of that discussion."
Backed by local business leaders and area politicians, the City Council agreed Tuesday to pay for part of a market feasibility study for attracting a National Basketball Association or National Hockey League team to the Dome.
Seattle Weekly asked Adam Brown, producer of the film SonicsGate and the most persistent voice about the need for the city to bring back the NBA, what he thought about the idea of Tacoma getting a team before Seattle.
We'd half expected Brown to balk at the idea, preferring more of a purist Seattle-only take on the NBA's potential return.
Nope! Brown and Co. want basketball back in Washington, period. And whoever can get it done is a saint in their book.
He writes to us:
We are encouraged by the Tacoma news and feel it's good to have competition between local counties and municipalities on this issue.
If Tacoma steps up and reaps all the benefits a new arena would bring to their downtown, then more power to them, and we'll gladly drive down for games if it comes to fruition. Hopefully this news kicks Seattle and Bellevue into high gear and motivates local elected officials to work with business leaders on bringing a real proposal to the table in the upcoming legislative session. We are working hard with the new nonprofit organization ArenaSolution.org toward the ultimate goal of finding and supporting a long-term facility solution in our region.
Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Renton, Bothell... we all have our individual preferences of where we'd prefer the new building to be, but we will support any reasonable proposal for a top-tier facility to host basketball, hockey, concerts and conventions in the Puget Sound region.
Well said, sir!
It's interesting to note that the Tacoma Dome actually hosted the SuperSonics during the 1994-1995 season while the Seattle Center Coliseum (pre-KeyArena) was remodeled.
The consensus around the Seattle Weekly office on Tacoma getting a team before Seattle echoes Mr. Brown. Any city that can get its shit together enough to actually land a team is doing God's work.
Besides, taking the the Sounder Train to Tacoma for NBA games would likely be a pretty exciting ride.