Blog Entry

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Posted on: February 5, 2012 1:01 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 1:28 pm
 
Key Arena (front right) isn't suitable for an NHL franchise.

By Brian Stubits

It seems like we've been talking about this for a decade, but it really feels like the Coyotes situation in is coming to a head, that this will be their last season in the desert if they can't get anything figured out to keep the team where it is in the next two or so months.

Of course you have to answer the question of where would they move before you can think about moving the Coyotes. There has to be a place to play. One of the most-discussed markets is Seattle (along with Quebec City and Kansas City a little bit). But Seattle doesn't have a suitable arena, that's why they lost the SuperSonics in the NBA to Oklahoma City. Key Arena is just too out of date.

There has been a lot of talk about new cites that could host an arena in the area and some potential people to help finance it.

Turns out there's more than talk at this point, there's action from Seattle's end.

According to the Seattle Times a San Francisco hedge-fund manager who grew up in Seattle has been in talks with the city of Seattle about building a new, state-of-the-art arena south of Downtown by CenturyLink Field (NFL's Seahawks and MLS' Sounders) and Safeco Field (MLB's Mariners).

A Dec. 13 agenda for a meeting between the parties shows they were talking about details such as a "Review of Basic Deal Structure," "Financing Issues," including "City Debt Capacity," and "Security for Public Financing."

The documents, released Friday to The Seattle Times under a public-disclosure request, also provide the first glimpse of how the largely unknown hedge-fund manager, 44-year-old Seattle native Christopher Hansen, approached the city about his desire to buy an NBA team and build an arena south of Safeco Field.

In an initial email laying out his vision, Hansen told city officials an arena could be built with minimal impact on taxpayers.

The driving force behind the push for a new arena is so that the city can get the Sonics back, with the Sacramento Kings being the likely target. As part of the agreement of the Sonics vacating the city was that it would retain the rights to the Sonics name and logo should the NBA return to Seattle.

But our concern here isn't with the NBA, it's obviously hockey. The Times article notes that it is believed a hockey team would vastly improve the viability of a new arena and would be pretty crucial to its financial success.

If Seattle can solidify plans for a new arena or even break ground it immediately becomes a viable suitor for an NHL franchise. Key Arena isn't ideal, but it could potentially serve as a temporary home while a new arena is finished. The cavernous Tacoma Dome some 30 miles south of Seattle could also be a possibility, but highly unlikely. As somebody who grew up watching games at the Tacoma Dome, it isn't great for hockey at all, and that was very minor-league hockey.

The NHL has supposedly been fond of Seattle as a host city. It would have a natural rivalry with the Canucks some two-plus hours up I-5, it's a somewhat cold-weather city that does have a hockey history to speak of as well. For years it has been home to the Thunderbirds in the WHL and nearby Everett also hosts a WHL team. Aforementioned Tacoma has also had a couple of teams. Plus, Seattle was the first city in the United States to win the Stanley Cup.

"There are a lot of people who think Seattle would be a great place to have a team. The Pacific Northwest, the natural rivalry with Vancouver, another team in the Pacific time zone ... but there's no building," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently told ESPN.com.

As we saw when the Sonics left, getting an arena with public finances in Seattle is a very tough proposition. There is a law in the city that requires any deal the city has regarding an arena has to be profitable for the city. So that's to say things are still a ways off for Seattle and a new arena, but this revelation makes it sound a lot further along than people thought.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Oct 24, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:01 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

So...Seattle wants to steal a team.....hmmmm. Whiny bitches dont deserve one.



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:00 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Good luck Seattle...   I'd like to see an NHL team
with your color scheme (Sounders. Seahawks).

Maybe pittsburgh Penguins would be a goog candidate to relocate.

They are bound to finish last one of these days, so their "fans"
will abandon them as usual.  They can then let the college hoops team
play in their new arena.  They don't deserve a team.

Seattle Penguins?  Sounds good to me...



Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2012 9:13 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

i would like to see the Hornets to Seattle...no way New Orleans can continue to be a nba town
unfortunately KC have the best dome but too small market to support a third major sport franchise...
Coyotes.....Canada...Canada...obvio

usly 



Since: Jul 7, 2009
Posted on: February 5, 2012 8:48 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

You are a f***ing moron you do not deserve a computer let alone free will quebec is in canada where the f**k did you think it was ????



Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 8:34 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Good luck getting a NBA / NHL team, Sea Town.



Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2012 8:33 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Forget Quebec, unless they want to build their own arena. I am not forking out tax money through federal tax dollars to build an arena for that franchise,...no way in hell. Typical Canadian government, they see an opportunity to get another hockey franchise, and will back it, but when it comes to real life problems, they look the other way. FORGET IT QUEBEC, build your own arena, or kiss my a$$.

 



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:39 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

No way Quecbec will ever get another NHL team. The NHL wants their teams to be in the U.S. or Canada, not in some foreign country where they do not speak English.



Since: May 13, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 4:27 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

@ballgazer

Seattle Thunderbirds have a major junior team. Everett, Spokane and Tri-City all are WHL major junior teams also.

The state supports hockey.

Four teams in the state of Washington. Michigan has two major junior teams only and we border Canada also.

Heard on HNIC that the AHL owner of the Chicago Wolves is also interested in owning a NHL team located in perhaps Seattle.

Seattle's baseball team sucks so you would think they would be excited to get back a hockey team.

Seattle did have a team in the 1920 and decade before and I believe won the SC in 1917 before the NHL was formed.

Seattle Metropolitans.

bettman doesn't like Canada and will probably fight against Quebec City getting their team back. He's probably still pissed about Winnipeg getting their team back.






Since: Jan 29, 2012
Posted on: February 5, 2012 4:09 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

I think it would be awesome if Seattle could lure a NHL team to play there.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2012 3:20 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Wait, this is the same city that didn't support the Sonics, right? Now, they're going to support a hockey team? Give Hamilton or Quebec a team first. I'm an American through and through, but it is still by far a Canadian sport. They deserve 2 teams before the US gets one more.

Oh and I think Seattle is a great city. In fact, one of America's best. It's simply not a hockey town.


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