It seems like the new trend in professional sports is to use Seattle as the ultimate leveraging point. Teams use the threat of relocating to the 206 as a tool to get what they want. The city of Glendale recently agreed to terms on a 15 year lease that will keep the NHL Coyotes in Phoenix and Sacramento severely overpaid to keep the Kings in town spoiling Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer's plan to bring back the Sonics. Why is this tactic so effective?
It's the money and the market. Seattle has several fortune 500 companies that generate large amounts of revenue and insulate the economy. Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Starbucks, Costco, and Nordstrom are all headquartered in the Emerald city and they are loyal to the community (except Howard Schultz). Finding someone with the resources to purchase a franchise is no problem.
Secondly, Seattle is the 12th largest media market. Leagues that don't have a presence here are looking at ways to take advantage of that. Unfortunately other cities realize this and end up doing whatever it takes to keep their teams from moving to the greener grass.
Right now Seattle is feeling like a jilted stripper or a mistress whose heard too many empty promises from a cheating husband. We're the exotic flavor of the month or the new hot spot everyone talks about, but never the city that ends up with the goods. I don't know what it's going to take for a team to commit to the area, but I can tell you the process has been emotionally draining for Seattle sports fans. The 11th hour is not just a phrase around these parts, it's a recurring nightmare. Hopefully this trend is over soon because it's starting to take a toll on my psyche. Good thing football is around the corner. Go Hawks!