Posted on: February 16, 2012 10:16 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 4:10 pm

Report: Seattle has a new arena deal

Posted by Royce Young

If you build it, maybe the NBA will come. At least that's the first step in bringing an NBA team back to Seattle. It's not happening otherwise.

And after almost a decade of trying to get a new arena in Seattle, it looks like it finally might be happening, according to King 5 in Seattle:

A press conference is scheduled on Thursday to announce the framework of a new sports entertainment complex in Seattle SoDo neighborhood. KING 5 has learned Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen are still working to finalize a term sheet.  A high ranking county leader says right now, the deal includes substantial private financing, with some debt backed in some way by the City and County, repaid through admission fees and “arena generating revenue.”  

The final terms are expected to be hammered out Thursday morning, and some council members were expecting a briefing prior to the announcement, scheduled for 2 p.m. at City Hall.

Back in December, Hansen’s Valiant Partners of San Francisco reportedly purchased a three acre piece of property south of Safeco Field, for $21 million.

Once an arena is built, or even an official deal is in place, the focus will all turn squarely on getting a team. Because that's the whole idea here. They aren't building an arena just to have for concerts and WNBA games. The Kings are the obvious option are they're situation in Sacramento is very much up in the air. Which would be ironic that the city of Seattle would take away a team that another city is desperately trying to keep.

The other obvious option, which makes so much more sense, is to move the New Orleans Hornets to Seattle. First, the Hornets are in horrible shape in New Orleans. But second, with the NBA owning the Hornets, it would almost be a way for David Stern to extend an olive branch for being part of the group that allowed the Sonics to leave for Oklahoma City. This option probably isn't happening as Stern is looking for a local New Orleans buyer that will keep the team there, but still, that one makes a lot more sense than poaching the Kings.

But before the NBA even arrives, it could be an NHL team that finds its way to Seattle's new arena. CBSSports.com's Brian Stubits took a long look at Seattle as a hockey market and the conclusion is, it could work. Really well.

And having the potential for a full-time tenant could be almost as important as the arena itself. Because that makes the arena a valuable asset and makes it a worthwhile build. So really, the NHL might be the the path for the NBA returning to Seattle. How about that?
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 7, 2010 12:09 pm

Report: League looking at Kansas City for Hornets

Posted by Royce Young

If, and that's a big if, the Hornets don't stay in New Orleans, a number of cities will be lining up to grab them. And a report from FanHouse says the league is strongly looking at moving the team to Kansas City and the newly built Sprint Center.

Matt Moore laid out a number of possibilities that included Seattle, Anaheim, Chicago and Kansas City. What's the drawback to KC? Here's what Matt said:
That said, the jewel in their crown is pretty simple. It's the building. Sprint Center, built in 2005 and opened in 2007, has a capacity of 18,555 with a considerably higher number of available luxury suites and club seating due to how the building was constructed. Specifically, the arena was built to capitalize on how current arena economics work. Tickets are valuable, to be sure, but the money is made with sponsorships, and luxury seating. 

What's missing? A buyer. AEG who owns the Sprint Center, made noise early on about pursuing either a hockey or basketball team to fill the arena. But with the Pittsburgh Penguins using them as a straw man to get a new arena in Pittsburgh, there has been no team to arrive. Furthermore, it turns out the arena is making more money as a concert venue than it may with a regular tenant. With the recession having hit Kansas City well before the rest of the country and a lack of progressive technology firms in the area, finding a prospective owner outside of AEG is going to be a hard sell. Kansas City remains a viable candidate but it remains to be seen if either AEG or the city will commit to making a serious inquiry toward the Hornets. 
Other than the sentimental reasons to bring a team back to Seattle, Kansas City has to be the leader in the clubhouse. New building, big corporate city with a number of sponsorship opportunities and the potential for a great, dedicated fanbase. Like Matt pointed out, it all comes down to a buyer that wants to bring a team there.

The concern over it being a college town is a good one, but the same was said for Oklahoma City and I think we've all seen how that went over. Competing with the Jayhawks and the Missouri Tigers wouldn't be easy for a professional franchise, but in a market like Kansas City, there's always room for more basketball.

But it's not about those reasons. It's about the building. Kansas City has what the league likes and what a prospective owner loves: a brand new arena that can make money. If Seattle had something new, no doubt in my mind it would be the frontrunner. But the NBA is about money and by all appearances, Kansas City would have the best shot at making the most right now.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com