Schram: Pay attention to that park full of basketball fans

Want to take the pulse of the people?

Call a meeting and see how many show up.

And so it was that on a weekday afternoon some 3,500 basketball fans crammed Occidental Park and cheered a hedge-fund manager as if he'd just shot a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Chris Hansen, he of "let's build an arena and bring basketball back to the region" fame, said he was close to tears at the turnout and the enthusiasm.

There's a lesson to be taken from the "Bring Back Our Sonics" get-together that filled Pioneer Square; a lesson for the King County Council, the Seattle City Council, and Seattle port commissioners.

As different council committees move forward with a review of the plan for an NBA arena in the SODO district; as hand-wringing and chest thumping goes on among Seattle port officials, the lesson is this: There is a lot of passion for the idea of bringing basketball back to the region.

Don't make traffic issues an insurmountable obstacle.

Don't haggle over every minuscule detail of how trucks and trains can share Seattle arterials with sports fans and concert goers.

The arena deal should be done because city and county officials can make it doable.

So go ahead, take the pulse of the people - and remember, you're also getting the heartbeat of the voter.


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