Sonicsgate Call to Action       
March 15, 2016     

Dear Sonics fans,

We've reached another pivotal moment in the eight-year fight to bring the Sonics back to Seattle. It's Game Time, and we need your help to execute this final play in the clutch.

The Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote on vacating a one-block section of Occidental Ave in the arena footprint in April or May. This is the final step before Chris Hansen's investment group can receive a Master Use Permit, and Seattle will finally have a viable, shovel-ready arena plan that puts the pressure back on the NBA to grant us a team.

There's a lot going on, and we need a strong outpouring of public support once again. Please share this message and do everything you can to make sure the Council hears the will of the people and votes to approve the Occidental Street Vacation.  

SuperSonic Tuesday!
Show Your Support on March 15 at the City Council Public Hearing


It's political season nationwide, and it's #GameTime to make your voice heard in the Seattle political process. It has all come down to this: Now is the time the City Council must approve the Occidental Street Vacation for a shovel-ready Seattle Arena Plan!

We must not allow the opposition to shout down the truth!

Come out and show your support to the Seattle City Council TODAY, March 15:

Public Hearing on the Occidental Street Vacation 
at Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue) 
Tuesday, March 15 at 5:30pm

4:00pm at the Bertha Knight Landes Room
(in City Hall)

After four years of public hearings, traffic analysis, environmental impact studies, council votes and legislative due diligence, the final step to having a shovel-ready arena plan approved in Seattle is for the City Council to vote on vacating a one-block section of Occidental Avenue in the SoDo arena footprint.

On February 29, 2016, the producers of Sonicsgate scaled a SoDo rooftop to document the critical traffic conditions that arena opponents claim as their primary argument against vacating Occidental Avenue. This was a Monday, and the same day that "the largest cargo ship to visit the United States" pulled up to unload its freight at the Port of Seattle.

We filmed the one-block section of Occidental Avenue in question from 10:30am - 7:30pm. During a nine-hour period, we captured light civilian traffic with clear conditions and virtually zero use for Port shipping containers.

 
Game Time: Sonicsgate on Occidental

Port of Seattle representatives have forcefully claimed that this run-down section of Occidental Avenue is a key release valve in the freight mobility network. The Port's claims are clearly false, as proven by the Environmental Impact Statement and SDOT Review.

After years of exhaustive study, The Final Environmental Impact Statement concluded that "no significant adverse impact related to land use will occur as a result of the project."

The Seattle Department of Transportation report found that "the segment proposed to be vacated is not included in the Port's important Heavy Haul Network. This is a clear sign that Occidental is not necessary to freight movement or Port Operations."

This footage, combined with exhaustive independent studies, reinforce that the Stadium District is the best location for the arena. Arena opponents have failed to provide any legitimate data supporting their assertion that the arena will negatively impact traffic and the Port's operations, relying instead on an unethical disinformation campaign using corrupt push polls and blatantly misleading newspaper editorials.

Here's what we told the Councils at the Joint Public Hearing on the SoDo Arena in 2012. Today is your chance to participate in the process and make your voice heard at City Hall!

The studies are complete. The facts are clear. Now is the time to make the SoDo arena deal shovel ready!



Tips for speaking at the City Council Public Hearing (SonicsArena.com)

Jamal Crawford on why the NBA should 'Bring Back the Sonics!' (Sports Illustrated)

Chris Hansen discusses the arena process (KJR)

Download the full Seattle Arena FEIS
  | FEIS Appendix E | FEIS Appendices F, G

Download the full SDOT Recommendation (PDF)
 

New documents reveal final Seattle Arena pitch (KING 5)


FEIS released, mayor and Hansen celebrate (KING 5)
 

Closing Occidental would have small impact on SoDo traffic (KING 5)
  

Stop with the KeyArena remodel talk (Sports Press NW)


Seattle councilmembers rip Seattle Times reporting on arena studies (KING 5) 


Full Seattle City Council Staff Memo on "factually inaccurate" arena coverage in The Seattle Times (PDF)  

Email the Seattle City Council in Favor of the SoDo Arena Proposal


Take 5 minutes and do this right now! Here are the email addresses of the current Seattle City Councilmembers:

council@seattle.gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, tim.burgess@seattle.gov, mike.obrien@seattle.gov, rob.johnson@seattle.gov, Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov, Lisa.Herbold@seattle.gov,
Debora.Juarez@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov

Here is a sample letter you can copy and paste elements from in your personalized email:

Honorable Councilmembers:

Please vote YES to approve the Occidental Street Vacation for the SoDo Arena. Below are several key reasons why this is an important, prudent and justified step for the future of our region:  

 

- This is a unique opportunity in our region's history. It offers our city a positive opportunity to maximize the infrastructure improvements and community benefits made possible by significant new private investment into our city. The vacation of the one-block stretch of Occidental Avenue South is the final step in a lengthy and costly EIS process. Vacating this street will put our city in the best place possible to bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle and creates an opportunity for any NHL investor who wants to bring professional hockey back to Seattle, as well as providing a much needed modern venue for concerts, conferences, conventions and community gathering events.    

 

- The arena investment team spent many millions of dollars getting the arena solution to this point including acquiring the land, architects, economic studies, lawyers, traffic engineers and environmental studies. After considering impact on existing SoDo operations, Hansen pledged an additional $40 million in private money specifically to address traffic infrastructure. They have acted in good-faith and done everything asked of them over the past four years.  

 

- Mr. Hansen has entered into Labor Peace Agreements with a coalition of unions to make sure arena workers are paid a living wage and everyone gets their fair share. Union support includes UNITEHERE Local 8, Service Employees International Union Local 6, and Teamsters Local 117. 

 

- The SoDo arena location is in the area zoned for sports facilities. It is also in the largest transportation hub in the region with Link Light Rail, a Sounder train line, three bus rapid transit lines, 21 Metro bus lines, 9 Sound Transit Express bus lines, 2 state ferry routes, 2 interstate freeways converging in this neighborhood. No other site in the region has these transportation assets, which is why the two existing sports facilities are located there.  

 

- The Final Environmental Impact Statement was clear that the arena would have no significant unavoidable adverse impacts to the street system, public transportation, bicyclists or bicycle corridors. The FEIS found that the change in traffic volumes caused by the arena falls with the range of current experience and that this portion of Occidental does not serve as a critical function to the street grid and does not serve a critical function to maintain freight mobility. Arena opponents have failed to provide any legitimate data supporting their claims against the arena, relying instead on unsubstantiated fear tactics and an unethical disinformation campaign. Arena supporters are an organized local constituency that represents the will of the people.   

 

- The SDOT commissioned multi-modal transportation and parking study found that Arena event traffic is well within the existing parking, traffic and transit capacity of the area. The Seattle Downtown Design Review Board voted unanimously to approve the arena design and the Design Review Commission voted unanimously after 10 meeting over a period of 3 years to recommend approval of the street vacation. 

 

- Unlike past stadium proposals, the SoDo Arena plan utilizes a revolutionary private-public partnership that protects citizens and reduces public risk to zero. All public bonds are repaid by revenues generated exclusively within the arena, and Mr. Hansen has included safeguards that will revitalize the area with much-needed infrastructure using private investment dollars for public benefit.  

 

Please consider all the facts and take advantage of a tremendous opportunity for the benefit of our region. Vote YES to approve the Occidental Street Vacation for a shovel-ready Seattle arena plan!

Sincerely,

[VOTER]  
 
Spread the word about SONICSGATE
during the 2016 NBA Playoffs   

 
Every year, thousands of people discover the true story behind how Seattle was robbed of the Sonics, and we gain valuable supporters in the movement to bring the NBA back to Seattle. 

SONICSGATE: REQUIEM FOR A TEAM
is now available to watch on a variety of platforms. Spread the word to show the world that Seattle has some of the best, most loyal sports fans around, and that it was not a lack of fan support that caused the Sonics to relocate in 2008 after 41 celebrated years in Seattle.

By the way, after eight years building our online movement, Facebook recently forced Sonicsgate to change from a 'person' to a 'page' -- this means our old Facebook page has been shut down, and we've now migrated to this new Official Sonicsgate Facebook Page. Give us a 'Like' and keep the movement going!

To help get you fired up, here's a clip of Steph Curry nailing a long three to beat OKC at the buzzer!

 
That's the kind of action we want to see live again in Seattle! 
It has been a long road, but we've reached the most exciting period of time since our team was scandalously robbed from us eight years ago. Keep fighting! Keep hope alive! Soon we will Bring Back Our Seattle SuperSonics!

 

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