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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 Key Arena is just too out of date.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: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 9:59 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Milwaukee?  Pretty sure the Blackhawks would never allow that to happen, just as the Leafs and Sabres will never allow a Hamilton team.  And the Bradley Center is an outdated arena btw.   And Im pretty sure the Thomas and Mack Center in Vegas is plenty big enough for an NHL team to play in.  I for one would love to travel to Vegas to see my team play some hockey there!!    As far as K.C., I think Wang will eventually move the Isles there.  But Vegas, Seattle and Quebec should all be eligible and deserve a crack at a team.



Since: May 6, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:47 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

The problem with Las Vegas is that they don't have an arena.  The Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL play at the Orleans which seats only about 9,500(according to Wikipedia).  To me Milwaukee should be the choice, the Bradley Center seats 17,845 (according to Wikipedia) and they'll have sellouts with the Blackhawks, Wild, Red Wings, and Blues.



Since: May 6, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:39 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

1 word......MILWAUKEE!!!!!  Why not, automatic sellouts vs. Chicago, Minnesota, Detroit, and even St. Louis will draw there.  Don't forget the Isles need a new home too AND the Bradley Center is a GREAT place for hockey!!!!!




Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Seattle is perfect for the Phoenix Coyotes to relocate. No doubt the city can produce a profitable NHL Market. I'm not sure how the NHL realignment taking out Divisions would produce Rivalries with Vancouver despite being a couple hrs away. Gary Bettman's negativity never ceases to amaze me with comments about "but there's no building"
Well, he's right. The Coyotes are better off in Glendale with a nice building than in Seattle with a building that is fine for the NBA but doesn't work for the NHL. Now, when Seattle gets an arena, move them there.



Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 2:32 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

No! No more west coast hockey. They don't like it there and that's fine. Give it to Quebec City and get it over with



Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2012 2:27 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Mar725. Enjoyed your irony on Quebec being a "foreigh country where they do not speak English".  How about Montreal?  Same situation, although granted, a much larger market.  Living in Boston (Go B's), I question whether the size of the Quebec City Metro cas support a NHL team since many of them are now Hab fans.



Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:58 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Why would KC be a joke? KC has a very strong youth hockey program and they already have an arena. They would attract hockey fans in Iowa and Nebraska as well (Lincoln, Omaha and even Des Moines), all of which have established youth hockey, as well. Youth hockey breeds hockey fans. Additionally, the sports fans, in KC, are very dedicated and I think an NHL team would do well there. Better than Phoenix or Las Vegas. I can't speak for Seattle.



Since: Aug 28, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:29 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

I'm going back a long ways, but didn't Vancouver, or someone in Vancouver "own" territorial right's to Seattle?

I'd enjoy a team in Seattle as I live in Northern Washington, yet what surprises me is the lack of anyone mentioning Las Vegas. Obviously the NHL has a relationship with Vegas, having contracted a number of years down the road for NHL awards events. It's close to Phoenix as far as national TV coverage goes as well. If your not into the "strip" there's nothing to do in Vegas in the winter.

Cleveland should work, but KC? that's a joke.

Now that there's casinos all over North America and the Canadians can and do bet all day on NHL games it's time to give Las Vegas it's due and a little "identity". The first Major sport there will own that city......



Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:17 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

LOOKS TO ME , THAT WITH THE TIME NEEDED TO "BUILD" AN ARENA..... WE ARE GOING TO GET , Phoenix , to Quebec City , Columbus to Seattle , making the realignment a breeze Laughing



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:03 pm
 

Report: Seattle already in talks for new arena

Seattle is perfect for the Phoenix Coyotes to relocate. No doubt the city can produce a profitable NHL Market. I'm not sure how the NHL realignment taking out Divisions would produce Rivalries with Vancouver despite being a couple hrs away. Gary Bettman's negativity never ceases to amaze me with comments about "but there's no building" Even with years of talks relocating a team Bettman refuses to let his ideas keeping the Coyotes in Glendale is profitable for the league, year after year losing millions of NHL's Dollars. Last I knew a Commisioner is open to new ideas when one thing fails year after year a backup plan requires New Financing to stay afloat? During that time or even after a few years having the Franchise in Arizona don't you think Bettman could've made strides in creating those average millions of dollars lost each year to possibly land a New Location/Arena to attract a Buyer or Group if Plan "A-Attract fans" fails to resort to "Plan B-New Buyer/Group to Relocate with a Potential City/Arena Locations". If you can't attract an owner or finance group to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix cause they're losing money year after year what's the point in maintaining a Franchise in a dried out Retired Community that they can't support? Rule of Thumb "You c
an always Explore Ideas & Create Possibilities but you can't Enforce or Demand Selfishness" No different than dealing with a Troubled Chil
d "If he screws up give him the Opportunity to make his mistakes, Confront the issue, Listen to what he says, Communicate by giving Examples & then 
Implement Rules of Action/Consequence." &nbs
p; 



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