Don’t put jobs at risk for proposed Seattle stadium | Editorial

The Port of Seattle and the Manufacturing Industrial Council raised an interesting $3 billion issue last week: a third sports stadium in the area of the Mariners’ and Seahawks’ facilities might cripple the marine-cargo business along the Seattle waterfront.

Why, you say, should we here on the Eastside care? Everyone in King County is part of the Port of Seattle district and our taxes support it. Equally, the success of the Port is vital to the success of the region.

As the groups sees it, a third stadium would add more congestion to an already crowded corridor and threaten the ability to move goods in and out of the region. Seattle isn’t the only option to ship goods out or in to the United States. The more difficult conditions here become, the more likely companies are to seek a different port.

Just this month, The Port of Tacoma lured three shippers from Seattle – about 20 percent of the Seattle Port’s business – which will make Tacoma the biggest container port on Puget Sound by cargo volume.

OK, we know that another stadium won’t wipe out the Seattle Port’s $3 billion business. But, as Dave Gering, head of the Manufacturing Industrial Council, says, “what part of $3 billion do you want to give up?”

We’d prefer none of it.

The problem with another stadium isn’t the stadium itself, but the do-nothing attitude on the part of Seattle to deal with congestion. Three overpasses were promised to deal with freight movement around the two stadiums we have now, but only one was built.

Also, while Seattle has found the money to update its bicycle master plan, it says it doesn’t have the money to update a freight-mobility plan. Perhaps Seattle is banking on everyone riding bikes to those football, baseball and basketball games.

Or making it impossible to drive there.

Seattle isn’t the only option for a basketball/hockey arena. Bellevue has several sites – one right on I-405 – that would do nicely. And it wouldn’t put $3 billion in jeopardy to build it.


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