I've had a very difficult time writing pieces here in part because the shape of a very mind bending and ultimately horrific story has been just that: Impossible almost quite literally.
That said, having had time to think about the topic some more, it is interesting the reactions that both sides are ultimately setting up. You see different reactions to news (predictable), writers/reporters who report news one side isn't interested in (predictable) and the other drivel (predictable) that of course happens when you get angry like-minded people in a circle jerk format to discuss their feelings.
What's not being discussed, that's rather important, is why each city probably feels this way.
If you think about it Seattle is the big swinging dick of the Pac NW. You go there to do places you can't do in Yakima, Bellingham or Spokane, or even Portland for that matter. (Not sure Portland quite applies any more but that's a different story, too.) There are just some things that cities the size of Seattle have that smaller cities literally cannot claim to.
Except Sacramento literally has one thing that at the very least a small sub-set of, if not a larger overall group, of Seattleites want: An NBA team.
When it comes to national perspective, Seattle and Sacramento have very different narratives. Seattle is bigger and gets more pub. There is more saturation and there is more to a larger city that is the biggest city north of the Bay Area. That's to be expected and understood at the end of the day. What I think some Sonics fans are currently struggling with is that they are being told that A) they aren't the biggest swinging dick right now and B) they never were to begin with.
Sacramento is still the red headed step child of the Bay Area, and probably always will be in the eyes of some. That's okay. We're used to it. After all, we're not the biggest market in our own state; merely the 3rd largest. (San Diego is the 28th largest market in the country FWIW.)
But with all that, we're used to disdain and being frowned upon. Some have an inferiority complex about it, others don't. Seattle isn't used to being told no when it sets it's mind to do something. After all, building arena's is difficult work up there, and getting collective will to get something accomplished is something rather frustrating to do. It's understandable that there are fans who are reacting poorly because they aren't getting their way. Remember that this is coming in the midst of a very frustrating and emotionally draining fight they are having about getting a new arena. Closure is something that, honestly, we all want.
Which I think illustrates a key difference between both cities: Sacramento is merely accepting that the NBA has standards they have to accept. Seattle is demanding that the NBA play by their set of standards.
If you are the NBA, and it's your ball, your rules, and ultimately your game, the only standards that count are yours. Not Sacramento, Seattle's or hell David Stern's if he weren't the NBA commissioner.
Which in turn I think has led to the nasty callout of some Seattle fans towards specific reporters like Aaron Bruski or Sam Amick to name just two. And while I don't think the Seattle narrative is anything to write home about, I also don't think it's anything to be worried about from a Sacramento perspective. Everything has an audience in any medium, and in Seattle that audience is primarily Sonic fans. Would you expect otherwise? On the other hand, Sacramento has enough on the line that anything short of the truth cannot and will not be tolerated. Simply put, the stakes are too high for conjecture and nonsense.
Which is why things like Chris Daniels linking Stockton's bankruptcy to the arena deal make no sense. Which is why, in the same column, bringing up a poll that was run in 2012 no less, arguing that local opposition may be in fact strong enough to stop a new arena. It's abject silliness of course, but when you have two cities with different agendas and priorities, the stake are simply different. The justification and desire is simply an attempt to trump the need Sacramento is illustrating in wanting to keep it's NBA team.
Simply put, I think you are seeing the reception because the expectation of a vanity project vs an urban renewal project that might end up being a case study on the topic by the time it's all said and done is something of a rather large difference between two cities. There is no game changing momentum for Seattle if the Kings do not move up there at the end of this saga.
What happens to the Downtown Plaza without the outside investment that Ranadive, Mastrov, Jacobs and depending on how involved Burkle remains with the various parcels Burkle as well? There aren't a lot of concrete plans that make sense to replace the DTP. An arena is one. You can smell the fear, the desire and the tangible belief that a new arena isn't just about a city wanting to hold onto a NBA team but a city that wants to rebrand and ultimately reprioritize it's desires on a more diversified or practical scale for a city of this size. Gone are the days where the expectations that private business would come and would take care of itself. Gone are the times and expectations that private business would set priorities for this city. And gone are the days of the citizenry wllling to expect that sort of action.
Lots of people dislike public subsidies. Don't be ridiculous on that point. And, frankly, there is a point and reason to not like them. Depending on which study of Roger Noll or Judith Long's you are looking at, you are going to find that arena's or stadiums do not pay off for cities that invest in them.
Despite the overwhelming "evidence" that public subsidy in arena's do not work, Sacramento is willing to try it's hand at doing just that. Despite the fact that there is a clear amount of desperation, I think it's also simply smart business to attract investment using a rather attractive regional asset that extends well beyond the oddball screwy borders of the city of Sacramento.
There is a level of economic and business sense by the city of Sacramento, even if that on it's face does not seem like it's so, that is about more than just basketball. You've seen the hashtags, and so have lots of people. You've seen the Crown Downtown t-shirts, and so have lots of other people.
The reason you are seeing two different diametrically opposite set of actions is you have two cities doing two different things here. One city lost a shiny toy, wants it back, and has some crying on a level that would make Faruca Salt proud. On the other hand you have a city that is looking to build a strong durable and everlasting frame to a house that is working towards become a pretty spectacular house in the end.
When you have two sets of priorities, you have two sets of agendas. As Robert Frost so aptly noted:
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future's sakes.