Steve Ballmer spent 2 billion dollars for the LA Clippers. Which kinda puts the Chris Hansen / Steve Ballmer partnership that asked for $200 million in public money to pay for a new Seattle NBA stadium and buy a team in, shall we say, perspective.
For the amount Ballmer just paid for the Clippers, he could have built a new Sodo basketball arena all by himself, plus built the Safeco Field baseball stadium, plus built the CenturyLink football stadium and still had more than $600 million left over for buying a team.Ballmer, at least, didn't need public money. He (or his partners) wanted public money so they could face less risk themselves. This is a reasonable choice, but doesn't mean they're entitled to it.
The city of Seattle, which is slated to put a hundred-plus million in bonds into the arena, has not given final approval to that plan. What they passed two years ago was an agreement to do the studies while [the group, including Ballmer] pursued a team. But many council members have told me that their “yes” votes back then do not mean they’re necessarily going to be “yes” votes for a final go-ahead.I don't have a problem with sports per se, but I do think the city has more important things to put its tax dollars into - like education, transportation & infrastructure.