Seattle Times Columnist Jon Talton on KUOW

"If we pass this up, we're even stupider than we were on Seattle Commons and on the 1969 rail system that we could have had but instead went to Atlanta and was wasted. Let us shoot ourselves in the foot, reload, and shoot again. You will not get a better deal than this.." — Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton, June 27

Transcript

Steve Scher: You know I was driving around downtown and I drove out to where it looks like the Arena may be built if that deal goes through, a lot of big business backing it and in an area that maybe could use a little revitalization. What do you see with that deal?

Jon Talton: If we pass this up, we're even stupider than we were on Seattle Commons and on the 1969 rail system that we could have had but instead went to Atlanta and was wasted. Let us shoot ourselves in the foot, reload, and shoot again. You will not get a better deal than this. And the other advantage of this is it puts the Arena right next to the other stadiums so that you're using existing infrastructure — it's right by King St. Station, it's right by light rail, easy to get to with transit. We just need to make sure we do the internal improvements, the infrastructure to help the Port, and this includes an overpass on Lander, some other things. This is doable. We need to think about how do we get this done instead of 'Oh, lets not do this.'

Steve Scher: Do you think there are people who are trying to put that improvement onto this project to try and get them to pay for it because they have deep pockets? Or should there be some mitigation by them to help pay for Lander?

Jon Talton: Maybe, or it should be part of the public-private partnership, because the whole region is going to benefit from this. I think the Port's position is being oversimplified as 'we're opposed to it,' and I don't think the Port is really opposed to it. The Port just wants to make sure that it gets the infrastructure that frankly was promised when Safeco was built and it didn't happen.