Dear Seattle City Council Member:

My name is Ken Woolcott; I am a businessman, corporate attorney and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the biotech and high-tech industries. I am also the founder of a private investment firm, Six Degrees Capital, which included a minority investment in the former Seattle SuperSonics.   More importantly, I am a father, a son, an employer, a taxpayer and a voter that was born and proudly raised under the Green & Gold banners of Washington State and the Seattle SuperSonics.   I am writing to you today to offer encouragement and perspective during your deliberation on the SODO Arena proposal.

You are a sophisticated professional and public servant in the spotlight.  Our legacy as a city and as an economic engine for the region will greatly depend on your continued leadership and your ability to balance the interests of our diverse community.  I believe, the Sonics are not only a proud part of our past, but a welcome part of our global future.

As serious as the SODO Arena issue may seem for us as adults, I would like to ask you to take a step back to the playgrounds of your youth.  You are presented with a rare adult opportunity — a giant playground “DO-OVER”.  

Second chances in life matter and they are not to be taken lightly.   I do not pretend to know if there are “more important things,” but I do believe that we can all agree certain things matter to our community.

Civic pride matters.   Standing-room only matters.  Diversity matters.

Vision matters.   Big ideas and projects matter.   Jobs matter.

If you have ever wadded up a piece of paper and shot it at a wastebasket with child-like anticipation, then you understand why the culture of basketball matters.

Challenges matter.   Progressive, thoughtful solutions matter.  Fairness and equity matter.

Remaining a global gateway matters. China matters.  Our professional sports teams have an impact on our business and global relationships. And as a point of reference, the NBA is the only major U.S. sport that matters in China. Moreover, basketball is the only major sport that was invented in America.

We are the 13th largest State and the 12th largest combined statistical area (CSA) in the United States.   None of our civic peers is without an NBA franchise. Competitiveness matters.  

Professional sports also matter to the young people and families of our community. Inspiration matters. Kids matter. My sons Spencer, Asher and Daylin matter. Squatch matters to Spencer.

I hope you recall at one of your public hearings this summer the young Sonics Fan who rolled up in his wheel chair to express his passion for the return of the Sonics.  Pause for a moment and reflect on the challenges that this young man faces everyday.   If the hope and joy of the Sonics matter to this young man, then if only by proxy, the Sonics must matter to all of us.  

The return of the Sonics is much more than Seattle’s having an NBA team.   The Sonics represent a community asset and legacy that was so unfairly taken away from us.  

In closing, I ask you to evoke the very best of playground rules.  How often in our personal and professional lives do we get a second chance, a chance to right a wrong, or a chance to make a different choice? As adults, we seldom get such chances. Courtesy of the unwavering passion of the Sonics faithful, you have such a chance -- a giant DO-OVER.DO-OVERS matter. 

Just over four years after a seemingly unimaginable civic embarrassment, you have the opportunity to mitigate our loss and restore the SONICS’ pride to our community. Thousands have rallied around the cause with a passionate and diverse voice.  Your decision matters in, oh, so many ways, to oh, so many people. 

We have passed the ball to you — our public representatives — AGAIN.   Take this shot.   We are watching you and waiting to cheer your wisdom.

 

Sincerely, 

Ken Woolcott

Queen Anne