The debate over whether it's worth it to keep the Sonics so often centers around the economic benefit a professional sports franchise provides to a community -- something that pretty much has been proven to be negligible.
Seth Kolloen over at Enjoy the Enjoyment eloquently shows us that's not the point.
"Even if the Sonics are a drain on the economy, that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep them.Here, here. Couldn't have said it better myself.
"Economic benefit analyses can't show everything. ... It's an intangible quality-of-life thing -- like playgrounds and opera houses and dog parks. What would be more 'economically beneficial' -- selling Magnuson Park to a developer and turning it into a giant corporate campus, or keeping it as a place to hold surplus library book sales and roller derbies?
"And what's a more compelling argument? Whether you'll be taking your kid to watch Kevin Durant play for the next 15 years or not, or whether we'll have a 4.2% (or whatever) increase in hotel revenue or not? Man, I'm asking lots of rhetorical questions here, but the point is that the debate about the Sonics' arena shouldn't be about economics alone."