In an effort to further demonstrate the extent of our commitment to bring basketball back to Seattle, we have elected to voluntarily increase our proposed purchase price for the Sacramento Kings NBA Franchise by $75 million — from an enterprise value of $550 million to $625 million. In conjunction with our revised offer, we have also guaranteed to the NBA that the Franchise would be a revenue sharing payer in all years in Seattle.
We would also like to take the opportunity to again point out just how far ahead our Arena project is:
The ownership group has acquired 100% of the property necessary to construct the Arena.
We have 100% of our private financing for the Arena committed and in place.
After being approved by the City and County Councils the Arena MOU/legislation was signed into law by the Seattle Mayor and King County Executive on October 16, 2012. The referendum period expired 30 days later.
We engaged our Arena architects two years ago and have completed our detailed design schematics and costing.
We have filed for our Master Use Permit and are well underway with the Environmental Review Process, which we expect to conclude late this year.
While we appreciate that this is a very difficult decision for the league and owners, we hope it is understood that we really believe the time is now to bring the NBA back to Seattle, and that it is paramount that we do everything we can to put Seattle’s best foot forward in this process.
While we are disappointed with the relocation committee’s recommendation, we just wanted to let you all know that we remain fully committed to seeing this transaction through. As you are all well aware, we have a binding transaction to purchase the Kings for what would be a record price for an NBA franchise, have one of the best ownership groups ever assembled to purchase a professional sports team in the US, have clearly demonstrated that we have a much more solid Arena plan, have offered a much higher price than the yet to be finalized Sacramento Group, and have placed all of the funds to close the transaction into escrow. As such, we plan to unequivocally state our case for both relocation and our plan to move forward with the transaction to the league and owners at the upcoming Board of Governor’s Meeting in Mid-May.
When we started this process everyone thought it was impossible. While this represents yet another obstacle to achieving our goal, I just wanted to reassure all of you that we have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up. Impossible is nothing but a state of mind.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
We would like to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Maloofs to raise the price we are offering to purchase the controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise by $25 million — from an enterprise value of $525 million to an enterprise value of $550 million.
While we already have a binding purchase agreement to purchase the controlling interest in the team, the Seattle Ownership Group has elected to voluntarily raise its purchase price as a sign of our commitment to bring basketball back to our City and our high degree of confidence in our Arena plan, our financing plan, the economic strength of the Seattle market, individual and corporate support for the team and, most importantly, the future of the NBA.
Before we head to the airport to catch our flights home I just wanted to let you all know our presentation this morning went very well and we leave NYC with a feeling of great optimism. Being able to demonstrate the breadth and depth of support from all of you was a critical part of our presentation. You should all be very proud of what you have helped make possible. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
I also want to thank Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine for helping us make our case. Their presence here today was a clear demonstration of the great political support for bringing our Sonics home. #GoSonics
As promised, we would like to announce the results of our Priority Ticket Waitlist… and they are nothing short of stunning.
As can be seen in the table below, in a little over two weeks, we received requests for over 44,000 Full Season tickets, 268 suites and had 983 businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities. Perhaps even more stunning is that we received over 32,000 Full Season Ticket requests in the first 24 hours of our Priority Waitlist going live — including a frustrating first 30 minutes when you all were able to knock our site offline with over 6,000 hits per second!
In addition to significantly exceeding our expectations, you all have sent a very clear message that all Sonic fans know in their hearts... that Seattle has and always will be a GREAT basketball city.
click to embiggen
As we head off to NYC to make our presentation, I would just like to recap the incredible support all of you have provided along the way. It is all of you that made the difference and got us to the point we are today… and all of Seattle should be proud and thankful for your efforts.
62,700 Facebook Fans of Sonics Arena
15,329 Twitter Followers
8,000+ people showed up to our rally on June 14, 2012
23,272 emails were sent to elected officials through SonicsArena.com, and countless numbers more directly from our fans
11,255 people signed the online petition
164 businesses signed our online petition
85 businesses lobbied the City Council on our behalf
1,000+ fans showed up at the City Council meeting to express their support for the return of the NBA – and the City Council stayed until midnight to hear all of you!
Seattle, this is one of the biggest days of my life and a seminal moment for our City. I know I am carrying the hopes and dreams of so many of you with me and I again just want to thank all of you for the privilege of having the opportunity to carry the torch for our Town. It is hands down one of the most meaningful things I have ever done in my life.
With this in mind, we put together a little video montage to both commemorate all we have accomplished and show the world the passion that exists here for the return of the NBA. Special thanks to Medici Studios and Christopher Nelson for providing great video footage and photos! Enjoy!
I just wanted to share with you a bit more insight into what we have planned for our innovative Sonic Rings. As we highlighted in our blog post that accompanied the initial renderings, the thought process behind the Rings was really twofold:
1. To create flexible capacity that would help insure the feeling of intimacy in the building and
2. To create a superior experience and viewing angles for our lower priced tickets
As can be seen in these first four pictures, the design of these levels will allow us to open or close each Sonic Ring separately and thus modularly add capacity for events as needed, while effectively hiding the empty space and making the building feel super intimate given the steepness of the building and vertical stacking of the rings. Again, each Ring will have approximately 800-900 fixed seats, with drink rails and standing room behind them to accommodate another 700-1500 patrons per level.
Click images to embiggen.
This second set of pictures show what we picture the atmosphere to be like up here. As many sporting fans would attest, it's a little tougher to drag ourselves out to a game in this era of HDTV and the fun and casual experience offered by bars, restaurants, and even our own homes. With this in mind, we have tried to create a unique game-watching experience that combines a fun, social environment with stellar viewing angles not offered in any other arena upper deck.
Click images to embiggen.
In addition to what is shown in the pictures here, we also plan on having several different themes on each ring, ranging from sports bar style environments and areas dedicated to "super fans" craving few distractions, to family-themed areas catering to young Sonics fans that still have a hard time sitting in their seats for two hours.
But most of all we just really hope our fans appreciate the thoughtfulness that we put into trying to create what we think will unquestionably be not only the most unique building in the NBA… but also one specifically tailored to our unique culture and fans.
And I would just like to take the opportunity to encourage all of you who have not done so already to take the time to sign up for our Priority Ticket Waitlist. We will be closing the Waitlist on April 1 at 1pm, and announcing the results shortly thereafter. While we really appreciate all of the support and are thrilled with the success thus far, we just want to make sure all of our true fans have taken the opportunity to sign up and get their name on the list before we close it.
I really can’t say thank you enough for all the support. As we head toward what is hopefully the finish line, I would just like to say what an amazing experience this has been. It’s your passion that has inspired me to press ahead as hard as I have, and it’s something I will be forever grateful for.
I would just like to start off by both thanking all of you for the overwhelming response, and apologizing for the site going down this morning. While we thought we had planned our peak capacity for even the most optimistic of sign up assumptions, you clearly overwhelmed those!
While the first day clearly blew away our expectations, we would just like to continue to encourage those of you who have not signed up to do so, and for everyone to continue to forward the request link to your friends, family, and co-workers you think are interested. Our current plan is to keep the priority list open through April 1, after which we will announce the results.
Thanks again for all the support and for making the launch of our Priority Ticket Waitlist such a success.
We also just wanted to take this opportunity to share a couple pictures for all the diehard hockey fans out there of what this building will look like for an NHL game. The bottom line is as good as this is for basketball, it is an even better building for hockey.
As can be seen in the pictures above, as with most NBA/NHL buildings we have designed the seats behind the backboard/goal to retract backwards and the first few rows of courtside seating can be removed to accommodate hockey's larger playing surface and dasher board. The net result puts hockey fans even closer to the action, including our pocket suites. Given the size of the playing surface and speed of the game, we also think the Sonic Rings will prove to be one of the most unique and valued viewing experiences in the game.
While I know there may have been a few skeptics out there, I have to say I am just as pumped as most of you to see the return of professional hockey to Seattle, and honestly can't wait to see this building bursting at the seams with crazed Seattle hockey fans.
We're happy today to release some preliminary designs for the seating bowl in the new Seattle arena. Fans will see that the design features some non-traditional elements that are inspired by the unique sports culture of the Seattle market. Most notably, the upper seating bowl is dramatically shortened and the top rows are replaced with three stacked balconies (what we have dubbed the “Sonic Rings”) that slant inward toward center court as they stack. We believe these balcony levels provide several key advantages versus traditional upper bowl seating including:
Improved Viewing Angles: The creation of the Sonic Rings and resulting ability to significantly increase steepness of the lower bowl, results in MARKEDLY improved sight lines for all seating categories
Reduced stratification between seating levels: Creating a more vibrant, festive, and social experience in the upper levels and giving typically premium seating amenities to all of our fans
Significant Flex Capacity: In addition to seating for over 2,000 patrons, the design of the Sonic Rings allows for significant incremental standing room capacity so we can “flex up” for the big game or “flex down” for more intimate events
Increased Intimacy, Energy... and Noise: We believe that pushing the entirety of the seating bowl closer to the court and having 2,000-4,000 fans literally overhanging the game not only creates the most intimate venue in the NBA, but will also provide you with the opportunity to create the loudest, most energetic atmosphere in yet another pro sport—or better yet two!
More Cost Effective and Sustainable Building: This introduction of the Sonic Rings and resulting compression of the seating bowl significantly reduces the roof spans — which makes for a more cost-effective and sustainable building
There are unconventional elements in the premium seating areas as well. The lower levels suites are located less than ten rows off the floor—and even closer to the ice. They're designed as "pocket" suites that give direct suite access to the suite holders without creating an unsightly gap in the camera view of the lower seating level. We believe the upper suite level also represents both an evolution in Arena design and a recognition of the unique attributes of the Seattle Business Community. Instead of creating a level of “hermetically sealed” suites with a dedicated corridor that speaks to status superiority and isolation, we have instead opted for a flexible “Loge Suite” design that will allow us to offer varying suite layouts to groups and businesses of all sizes. The suite layouts provide a much more social, inclusive and fun atmosphere around shared bars and amenities with a balcony that overlooks the main club.
Again, the major point here is that our seating bowl design will maximize the intensity of the game experience and minimize the stratification of the different tiers of tickets. Both of these design goals we believe will strongly appeal to the Seattle sports community.
We designed the unconventional seating bowl to be ideally suited for music as well. The uniqueness of the seating bowl and flex capacity of the Sonic Rings create a much more intimate venue for concerts of varying sizes. The Sonic Rings will also have sound treatment directly behind their seats, adding to the natural sound absorption of the rings themselves.
In the coming months, we will begin announcing some of our sustainable building features. There will be renewable energy features as well as an aggressive water recapture and cisterning solution that will reuse rainwater inside the building and in the water features in the north plaza.
And in case you missed it, the exterior is a “SuperSonic” jet turbine . . . not a flan!
See how Sonics Arena compares to some other arenas below.