The soon-to-be-vacant Sorry, Coyotes fans

It’s official, folks. A group headed up by Seattle native and San Francisco hedge fund manager Christopher Hansen plans on building a $500 million dollar stadium complex to house both a professional hockey team and a professional basketball team, partially rectifying the torture it must be for a Seattle basketball fan to watch how freaking awesome the OKC Thunder are. Anyways, I digress.

The situations here for the NHL are numerous as the potential for a team in Seattle could mean several things. Obviously the reaction is that the Phoenix Coyotes or Florida Panthers would be the first teams to head Northwest to Seattle, but let’s also not forget that expansion (I hope not) is an option after all.

Some quotes from today’s press conference courtesy of the Seattle Times:

A proposal for a new half-billion-dollar NBA and NHL arena in Sodo would include $200 million in city and county financing, but no new taxes, Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine said today.

“A major reason we’re here today and you see some of the newspaper reports is because of Chris Hansen. He approached us a few months ago about bringing an NBA team back to Seattle. He was and is a major fan of the Supersonics.”

“We knew we had to get a fair return on our investment,” McGinn said. “We also wanted to ensure the arena was going to get a fair return and had to be funded through its own revenue streams. Equally important was that we wanted to make sure we had the kind of relationship that was long-term and enduring.”

Mayor Mike McGinn said that the proposal includes constructing an area in Sodo that would be appropriate for NBA and NHL games, concerts and private events. He said that the maximum public participation would be $200 million, combined from the city and the county.

“This is a full partnership between the city and the county. This is ultimately a regional investment.”

“The job of Dow and I is whether we’re in a position for the proposal,” McGinn said, adding that working with the NBA and the NHL is the job of Hansen. “My understanding is there are pathways to obtaining a team. Our job is making sure we’re in a position to respond and provide an answer to the proposal.”

“I’m not in the prediction business,” McGinn said. “This is a strong proposal, a promising proposal. All the planets have to align. I’m not going to make any predictions.”

Obviously it appears that the focus is on returning the Supersonics to Seattle, and who can blame them? I’m sure Winnipeg or Quebec City fans could speak to how badly a city wants to have their team return after they leave. That’s not to say Seattle isn’t a hockey market, as Daniel Wagner informed us all earlier today.

What does Backhand Shelf nation think? Will Seattle get a team and succeed? Leave a comment below, tweet with the #BShelf hashtag or post on our Facebook.

Now, a reminder of Seattle’s glory days:

I can only hope an NHL team in Seattle would bring about plaid jerseys and Nirvana night. That is the extent of my delightful little Seattle stereotype.

Comments (8)

  1. What happened to the big, fancy arena in Kansas City? I know the Kings play a preseason game or 2 there, but what hasn’t worked out there that has a better chance in Seattle?

    • It’s there… its big and its fancy and I think it hosts about one event a month… maybe… HUGE waste of an awesome facility. KC is not a hockey town though… not an NHL town anyway.

  2. Seattle is very likely to succeed as an NHL city. It has a rich yet oftentimes ignored history of hockey and I think the NHL should be chomping at the bit to get in there but certainly not through expansion. The Seattle Coyotes…does that sound right?

  3. Did you know that Seattle has one of the largest (membership-wise) adult rec hockey leagues in the US? I can’t find the numbers for 2010-11, but here’s 2009-10: . That’s just one of the leagues — there are a bunch.

    There’s a huge contingent of hockey fans here.

  4. I have no issues with Seattle getting an NHL team, they just can’t have my Coyotes.

  5. I’m surprised you guys didn’t team up with The Basketball Jones guys to write this post since the implications involve hockey and basketball.

    I’m just talking out of my … here but this is what I think is going to happen:

    Both KC and Seattle will have ownership groups that are interested in owning Basketball and Hockey franchises.

    KC has shown interest in either or but getting into both is an excellent idea. It pretty much means your arena has something going on 4 days a week from October to April.

    One reader suggests that KC is not a hockey town. I disagree. I think Missouri is a bigger basketball state and would be more supportive of basketball but I also think the city would and could support both.

    Seattle – finally some good news for Seattle since “The Killing” made a potentially good television show a train wreck. Seattle deserves a basketball team. Seattle could support both.

    If the NHL were to realign its divisions, Seattle would really benefit from the West Coast rivalries with San Jose, LA, Anaheim, and Vancouver. This also benefits Dallas for travel.

    So the next question: Who goes?

    I think it is safe to say that neither league is, nor should consider, expanding. There has been criticism that both leagues should consider contracting. I don’t mind keeping the same amount of teams but some should be relocated.

    Who gets relocated from the NBA? Sacramento, Charlotte and New Orleans
    If the answer includes Charlotte then Memphis could (and should) be moved to the Eastern Conference.

    Who gets relocated from the NHL? Carolina (notice any pattern?), Columbus, Florida (although the ownership group makes a lot of money from non-hockey related revenue so they are not dying to sell), Phoenix, and Nashville.

    Personally, I think the answers here are the last two. Phoenix is a debacle and Nashville just isn’t getting the fans. Although Carolina is interesting. If you are an owner from KC or Seattle, wouldn’t you be thinking “hrmm, Carolina Hurricanes are fairly low priced and the Charlotte Bobcats are owned by Jordan reluctantly. We could get the two franchises for a steal”. The Carolinas are college hoops and college football states, the fans would be upset but upsetting 14,000 people doesn’t sting that bad.

    Both situations have something else in common: The league owns one of the teams on the list. The other 29 owners in their leagues are not happy about footing the bill for the team to compete. So, why don’t old buddies Stern and Bettman get together and make a deal with an ownership group in Seattle or KC. The deal: no franchise relocation costs if you buy both franchises and we’ll give you each team for 10% below market value.

    If I were a multi-billionaire, I’d be setting up meetings with Stern and Bettman today.

    • The NHL and/or NBA don’t have any reason to lower the asking prices in the event one entity purchases any team either of the respective leagues own. If somebody wanted to buy the Coyotes and the Hornets and move them both to either Seattle or K.C. why would they lower their price to help the other league get rid of its albatross?

  6. Nashville isn’t getting the fans? Do you even follow hockey? Nashville has one of the highest attendance numbers in the league. There was a time a few years back that they were in the relocation conversation, but that is officially over.

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