Just a quick blurb to direct you all to the webcam monitoring the construction of the new SAM-WAMU tower. That’s short for “Seattle Art Museum – Washington Mutual (bank)” for you remote readers. The bottom floors will be the SAM expansion we’ve all been dreaming of (probably to be filled with increased retail space for hawking postcards and those lovely prints no one can afford) and the upper bit will be home to offices with swanky views and, of course, a strong contingent of Wamu’s bean counters. Yes, there is already a Wamu Tower but apparently Wamu doesn’t actually own it, just the naming rights. Kind of like how Qwest doesn’t actually own Seahawks Stadium, they’re just the suckers who spent eleventy-seven quadzillion dollars (rumored to be about 150 million, actually) for permission to stamp their blue logo on the walls. Anyway, nifty webcam so you can watch a skyscraper get built. Pretty cool.

In looking for more info about the new tower, i found some stats on Seattle’s entertainment choices. 4,060,358 people passed thru the city’s museums in 2003 (although 1.2 million of those are from the Space Needle, which is a stretch for the term “museum”) compared to the 4,980,501 of us that stumbled thru the gates of a sporting event. I guess we’re more cultured than we give ourselves credit for… or at least, our tourists are. 😉 I do find it encouraging that 120k seats were full at Storm games (where playing basketball is still part of the events), although that’s still much too far behind the 637k who were tricked into supporting the unloved Sonics, a number that is likely inflated by all the unused season passes the Sonics players use to try and pay for hookers. A whopping 3.5 million Mariners tickets were sold in 2003 (i’d estimate about 1.8 million of those were to scalpers), although i’ll be curious how the numbers change in 2004. And how about those 512,150 people who enjoyed the 430-million-dollar football stadium? More of us enjoyed a show at the Paramount (519k) or tapped on the glass at the Aquarium (644k) in 2003, and did either of those two receive $300 million in parking, hotel and lotto taxes? Nooooo. 70% public funding, kids. Think about that the next time you spend way too much on parking downtown…