This blog will chronicle my attempt to visit all 30 NBA Arenas during the 2007-08 season.

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Contact info: Drew Cieszynski 2637 N. Frederick Ave. Apt# 106 Milwaukee, WI 53211 / 717.676.9963 / acieszyn@hotmail.com

Click below on "2007" to view the first 13 arenas.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Seattle SuperSonics

Greetings from the Knight Library at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. Dan & I arrived here after 2 AM this morning after about 10 near-death incidents driving here. We'll be driving up to Portland later today with our friend Josh McCormick.

Okay, so several individuals told me that my first real blog was too long or "a novel," so I'll try to summarize more here.

Friday was a long travel day...1 & 1/2 hours Amtrak, walk three blocks to subway, 25 minutes on subway, 4 & 1/2 hours on a plane, 25 minutes in rent-a-car.

When we arrived in Seattle...rain. When we woke up...rain. When we decided to do something, the rain stopped for the NBA tour.

First stop, Snoqualmie Falls....On the drive there, we noticed a lack of billboards anywhere along the highway. Really trying to keep the beauty of their land intact. Also interesting, was the "no hitch-hiking" sign, or maybe it was "no thumbs-up?"

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Stop #2 was in Fremont, a small part of Seattle. Here, we paid visit to the Fremont Troll. He is a 2,000 pound concrete troll embedded under the Aurora Bridge. In his left hand is a real Volkswagen beetle. His left eye is a shiny hubcap.

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View from top of the troll



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Other different sites of Fremont include:

The people who are eternally waiting at the bus stop:

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The dinosaurs

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The rocket which symbolizes the center of the Universe

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The "almost-free" outdoor cinema

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The largest statue of Communist leader Lenin in the United States. 16 ft high and made of bronze. I believe this statue is for sale to any willing buyer for $150,000.

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Some other sites of Fremont.

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Next, we drove down to Gasworks Park. A former gasification plant, this park provides a great view of the Seattle skyline and plenty of room to fly kites, play football, or sit and watch the activities on the water.

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Next, we traveled into the downtown Seattle area and stopped at Pike Place Public Market. Possibly the most famous part of the Market is the Fish Company. Any business student is likely well aware of this place as mention of its operations seem to pop up in many textbooks. The workers toss the fish and clams while yelling out customer orders, sometimes allowing the customers to participate in the fish tossing. Just a warning, watch out for the Monk fish. Check out a video below...

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Pike Place

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Pike Place is also home to the flagship, or first-ever Starbucks. Notice the difference in the logo today:

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Horse man.

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From the front of the public market, we had a phenomenal view of the Puget Sound sunset.

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Off to the left, we could see Safeco Field (the grey one, home to baseball's Seattle Mariners) and Qwest Field (football's Seahawks). If you look closely in the backdrop, you can see the snow capped Mount Rainer. It's only November 10th, and I've already seen 2 snow-capped mountains.

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We walked up some steep hills to the shopping district, and checked out the flagship Nordstrom store as well as many other merchants.

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The Art Museum, where this guy is eternally hammering away...

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Probably the most interesting part of the weekend was our return the the hotel. The hotel was black with darkness...a power outage. A lot of people were whining about it & somewhat scared. I then came up with one of my genius ideas. I put on my bathing suit and took a bunch of the free "chem-lights," tied them to my body, now walking around the lobby in my swim trunks & went down to the pool/hot tub for a "black-out pool party." We lined the pool with these neon green lights, and suddenly the "cannonballs" were splashing everywhere. The blackout lasted for approximately 2 hours, but I believe I provided a little humor/relief to many of the guests with my pool party.

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Saturday night. Downtown Bellevue. Fun.

Sunday.

On Sunday, we had lunch at the Pike Place Pub & Brewery. Here, you needed a password to get into the restrooms. I don't know how often they change it, but as of Sunday, it was "787."

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No visit to Seattle is complete, without a stop at the Space Needle. We probably picked the most miserably cold time to check it out, but wow...an amazing view.

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A quick stop at the Experience Music Project before heading to the game.

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The Seattle Supersonics play at Key Arena, seen here from the Space Needle.

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Mr. Pete Winemiller, Vice President of Guest Relations, met us outside of the arena and took us inside. He was generous enough to set us of in one of their luxury suites. We feasted on cheeseburgers for dinner. I think I had 6 of them. The Pistons got out to an early lead, at times ahead by more than 15 points, but the young Sonics were very resilient, once tying it up and pretty much pushing the Pistons until the final buzzer. The crowd was phenomenal and the last 12 minutes were unbelievably exciting. Detroit got the win, 107-102, but I was overly pleased with the most exciting contest I've seen to date.

Before I go any further, I must add that on several occasions during the game, I had conversations with the servers and other members of the Sonics organization. The staff was so friendly, I often found myself more engaged in my conversations with them than paying attention to the game. These people were real class-acts and all of them seemed to be on edge for a final determination of whether or not the franchise will be moving. As you may or may not know, there have been discussions of moving the team to Oklahoma City. After visiting this franchise, I think it would be crazy to move this team away from Seattle. I surely hope that for the sake of the employees and the the benefit of the NBA, that a "hero" will step forward and find a way to get a new arena deal done and keep the team in Seattle.

Despite all of this controversy surrounding the possible move, the staff understood that they still had a job to do and seem to be taking all of this very professionally. I can't thank them enough for the treatment we got while in Seattle.

Suite #42

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Our bathroom

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Kids shooting free throws after the game:

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Seattle makes a late push:

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Sasquatch pays a visit

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We got up to date stats at Halftime

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The court

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Arena # 2 of 30 complete

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What you like to see an organization coaching to its employees. Thanking them for exceeding the expectations of the guests.

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I really liked this aspect. A dollar menu for the kids. Who says going to a professional basketball game has to be pricey?

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Rookie phenom Kevin Durant

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Dan & I at center court after the game:

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Thank you's: The Seattle Sonics organization, Pete Winemiller, and a great friend out of Manchester Pennsylvania, "Iron" Nate Ledwich.

The weekend is Seattle was just great, one of my most memorable ever. Off to Portland now. I don't know when I'll get my next update in, but please check back regularly. Thanks for your support everyone!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cant wait for the next one. i love reading these updates n i admire greatly. pictures are awesome.

Deek
nba/basketball fanatic
(schwab stumper)

Anonymous said...

i lost my bball virginity here i really dont even care about sports but with pete puttin us up in a suite an spending time with my best friend this was an amazing adventure after spendin 300 extra dollars on a plane ticket cause i missed my regular flight it was nothin but the best. and i plan on makin another trip back here to the city an i hope it will b nothin but the best..
dan

Anonymous said...

Seems like all your dreams are coming true. I'm truly happy for you. I keep up with it all the time to find the next chapter. It is wonderful you have a new passion. Keepin me on the edge of my seat. Hope much knowledge comes of your adventure.
Da Goldfish~

Anonymous said...

DREW,

it was so fun meeting you tonight. U were so cute...I wish you didn't have a significant other :(

Katie

Anonymous said...

THAT IS FREAKING AWESOME MAN SORRY BOUT THE WHOLE HOTEL THING BUT THEY GUARANTEE NO BLACK OUT DATES LOL THE REST OF YOUR TRIP SEEM PRETTY IMPRESSIVE I ONLY WISH THAT ONE OF THESE DAYS I CAN TAG ALONG WITH YA TILL THEN KEEP IT UP MY FRIEND
...IRON NATE

Nikki said...

LOVE the new pictures!
I know your secret, liar.

Nikki said...

LOVE the new pictures!

I know your secret, liar. :)

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Milwaukee, WI, United States