The Seattle Mariners sent a formal letter to the City of Seattle and King County officials Tuesday opposing the idea of a new multipurpose arena in the same neighborhood as Safeco and CenturyLink Fields.
In the letter, first obtained by KJR-AM and later by The Associated Press, Lincoln says the franchise supports the idea of the NBA returning to Seattle, but that an exhaustive examination of various sites for a new arena in the greater Seattle area needs to be conducted.
“The proposed SoDo location, in our view, simply does not work,” Lincoln wrote.
Lincoln said the team did not believe adding an NBA or NHL franchise in Seattle would harm “existing professional teams” if appropriately located. However, Lincoln went on to say that the arena should not be in the south downtown area near Safeco and CenturyLink, where traffic snarls, game and event conflicts would produce a “very poor fan experience” and gridlock that would hurt area businesses.
There are already city restrictions that require a four-hour window between events at Safeco and CenturyLink, and adding a third venue in the area would impact all three, Lincoln said.
Later Tuesday, the Port of Seattle released a letter it sent to the arena advisory committee expressing its concerns over traffic in the area of the proposed venue and supporting the idea of looking at alternate sites.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn issued a statement saying the issues the Mariners and the port raised about transportation will be addressed in the environmental review process.