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The CEO of the Seattle Mariners bitching about possibly having to share a neighborhood with an NBA and NHL arena is like a registered sex

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Howard Lincoln Should Shut Up About the Sonics' Arena

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The CEO of the Seattle Mariners bitching about possibly having to share a neighborhood with an NBA and NHL arena is like a registered sex offender complaining about the nice young couple building a house next door.

The Mariners, simply put, are one of the most poorly-managed franchises in the history of professional sports. With the exception of a handful of playoff berths--none of which culminated in a World Series appearance--they've been an absolute laughingstock throughout their four-decade history. They built a sparkly new stadium on taxpayers' backs, and now very few of those taxpayers are willing to fork over even a ten-spot to sit in it. Why? Because, continuing a never-ending Groundhog Year cancer cycle, the on-field product is bound to be crapola; the club's splashiest free-agent acquisition this past off-season was nothing more than a nod to its phantom owner's insatiable (and usually indefensible) appetite for players who hail from his native Japan.

Chris Hansen's proposed SoDo arena, argues Lincoln, "would bring scheduling, traffic and parking challenges that would likely require hundreds of millions of dollars to mitigate." You know what else "required" hundreds of millions of public dollars? Safeco Field--and the Mariners, on Lincoln's watch, have done very little to mitigate the ongoing challenges that occur within its outfield walls.

The Port of Seattle has raised concerns identical to Lincoln's, and that's perfectly acceptable. While the Port, too, has had its challenges, no one can dispute its role as a vital regional economic engine. Conversely, the Mariners do little more than send too-loyal fans to the edge of the Aurora Bridge every year. It's gotten so dire that most Seattleites would rather watch soccer.

If SoDo really can't accommodate all this stadia, here's a thought: Demolish Safeco, build Hansen's arena (with salvaged seats, this being Seattle), and send the Mariners north to British Columbia, where athletic mediocrity and apathy are par for the course. Until he proves himself to be an effective baseball CEO, Lincoln should not only welcome the NBA and NHL to his neighborhood, he should power-wash their porch for them as well.

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