Seattle may not be a sad sack sports town on the level of Cleveland, but its hard to begrudge Emerald City sports fans much of anything, given the largely irrelevant histories of the Seahawks, the Mariners, to say nothing of that time the Supersonics left town for better opportunities in Oklahoma City. So we can only applaud Valiant Capital founder Chris Hansen for celebrating his recent agreement with Seattle’s city council to provide $290 million in financing for a new indoor arena by ordering up a round for area sports fans (or, anyone in the area).
“I would just like to thank all of you for all of your support,” Mr. Hansen said in a message posted on the website sonicsarena.com:
Anyone who thinks Seattle doesn’t have great sports fans with incredible passion doesn’t know what they are talking about. As one fan told me at Bumbershoot last weekend, “they can tear out my heart bro, but they can never take my Sonic Soul.” And on that note, I would personally like to buy you all a beer at FX McRory’s this Thursday from 5-7. First beer for everyone is on me.
Mazel tov, and drink up: Drink enough, and Seattle residents might forget that they don’t actually have a team to put in the arena. Which isn’t our point—rather, that life is sometimes miserable for certain New York sports fans, and there are no shortage of local money managers who could write off a few beers, or like, the Mets, as the price of a little goodwill.
Oh, David Einhorn might do it, but by the time he got done negotiating the bar tab, we might find the drinks weren’t actually for sale.
Steven A. Cohen, apparently always on the prowl for a franchise, could take after Mr. Hansen and put the cart before the horse, which is to say stop wasting time trying to buy a club and just go ahead and get to know the fans.
A more natural candidate: Tiger Global manager Charles Payson Coleman III. Mr. Hansen and Mr. Coleman share a hedge fund lineage. (Mr. Hansen worked at Blue Ridge Capital—founded by Tiger Cub John Griffin—before striking out on his own.) More importantly, he’s a member of the same Payson family that owned the Mets originally—and if you think about it, practically the root of much suffering for which he should probably atone.