Over the years, I have watched Super Bowl telecasts in my home, in other people’s homes, in a rented “party room” at the old Tropics Motor Inn and at bars in Belltown, downtown, Wallingford, the University District, Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill.
This year, I watched it at Bill’s Off Broadway. The longtime pizza and pasta place on East Pine Street has become a full-fledged sports bar in recent years, with 11 big-screen TVs.
And, of course, it’s doomed by redevelopment.
After 33 years, Bill’s closes this June 30. Your basic, seven-story, mixed-use development will go in at the corner of Pine and Harvard Avenue.
Bill’s owner Don Stevens says he’s agreed to move into the new building, which will occur sometime in late 2014. During that long interim, Stevens hopes to find a temporary space — either on the Hill or, if need be, elsewhere. (B&O Espresso, also driven off of the Hill by development, had to find an interim exile location in Ballard.)
The place was near-capacity. And thanks to the power failure in the stadium that extended the event’s duration by more than half an hour, sales likely exceeded any expectations.
I, along with most of the viewers in the bar, would have preferred to be rooting for the Seattle Seahawks. They might have made it to the big championship game, too, if the Atlanta Falcons hadn’t managed to turn a last-minute Seahawks win into a last-half-minute Falcons win in the second round of the playoffs.
The windows at Bill’s were bedecked with Seahawk logos and the painted phrases “Great year!” and “Good job, Hawks!”
More good sports news in future
But this is a time for looking forward, as well as backward, by local sports fans.
The Seahawks look to have this past season’s key players back and healthy next season.
Before that, the Mariners baseball and Sounders FC soccer seasons are just around the corner. And around that time, we should also hear what could be the best local sports news to happen around here in years.
The National Basketball Association’s team owners are expected to meet in mid-April, when they’re expected to approve the Sacramento Kings’ transformation into the new Seattle SuperSonics.
I have no more information about our chances of getting this team than anybody else (at least anybody else who’s talking). I’ve heard the same “It’s a done deal” rumors some of you have heard, from people who claim to know people who know people with insider info.
But let’s say it’ll be approved.
And let’s say the plan for a new Sonics arena also passes all the needed reviews and threats. (Those who are sincerely worried that arena traffic would imperil industrial and shipping activity in the area don’t need to. The old Sonics played in the Kingdome during their late-1970s championship era, and the Port of Seattle survived just fine.)
The day the neo-Sonics are announced as really, really a deal will be a day of ecstatic celebration among virtually all local sports fans (except perhaps Mariners management, who seem to really not want the additional competition for fan bucks).
The neo-Sonics’ home opener in KeyArena (where they’ll play at least two seasons) will be a grand celebration of nostalgia, community and the achievement of what had seemed impossible five years ago, when the old Sonics were taken from us.
Then will come the basketball games themselves.
If next year’s Sonics are anything like this year’s Sacramento squad, few of those games will end in Sonic victories. Except in the sense that simply having a men’s pro-basketball team again will feel like the biggest victory one could get.
CLARK HUMPHREY is the author of “Walking Seattle” and “Vanishing Seattle.” He also writes a blog at miscmedia.com. To comment on this column, write to QAMagNews@nwlink.com.