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Seattle is working hard to build an NBA/NHL arena (video)

Dec 9, 2011, 6:26 PM EDT

Thought we’d pass along this King 5 news report about the mounting efforts to get an NBA/NHL arena built in Seattle.

For those non-basketball fans out there, the only reason the Sonics left town was the absence of a modern arena – Seattle is a fantastic hoops town. But could it be a good hockey town, too?

Among the things Seattle’s got going for it:

—- Large metro population.

—- Plenty of rich people.

—- High-profile companies like, Starbucks and Microsoft.

—- Close enough to draw from Portland and Vancouver.

—- “Let’s do something indoors” weather during the winter.

The question is whether enough Seattle residents like hockey to support a team.

  1. govtminion - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    I thought the Sonics left town because the owner sold the team to a bunch of slimeballs knowing they would move the team to Oklahoma…? An arena would be nice, but if the Sonics had trouble getting fans into their building the first time around, why would it work a second time? And why try for the NHL, when the Canucks are just across the Sound? Seems like this is a bad idea to me, from a business perspective.

    • haterzgonahate - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:44 PM

      agreed… Seattle is a great city.. for football and baseball. hockey? not so much

    • ThatGuy - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:41 PM

      Well to be fair the owner sold the OKC businessmen after multiple failed attempts to secure funding to either rehab Key Arena or replace it.

    • imleftcoast - Dec 10, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      Seattle doesn’t care about the Canucks. Maybe they would care for their own team. There are a lot of Canadians at MSFT and ex-frozen states people. We have a couple big beer leagues. A good venue and a competitive team might work. Basketball is the really the goal though, and hockey is kind of afterthought. Seattle lost its team b/c Howard Shultz sold the Sonics to a guy he knew would move it to OK. Shultz (Starbucks) is the real villain.

  2. chrisjdonohue - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    I wouldnt put anything past Seattleans? Ites? Whatever. They emraced the Sounders of The MLS with open arms. Idk if you’ve ever seen a game, but the stadium is always JUMPIN

  3. ragpappy - Dec 9, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Seattle Resident Here…

    Just to provide some background.. Yes we were sold by Mr. Starbucks to OKC Slimeball basically as a favor to Stern… Even under the slimeball average attendance was around 14,000 for a 17,000 seat arena so it wasn’t for lack of support really just an inferior arena..

    Hockey is a very strong and growing sport here.. The 2 major junior teams draw very well here and without the lack of winter sports this city is just waiting to embrace something…

    While Vancouver is a 3-hour drive this city hasn’t embraced them as one would think.. The Canucks do a terrible job of marketing down here but that being said during the playoffs the response was excitement to having professional hockey here..

    This is a perfect time to buy the Coyotes, move them here and really start a rivalry with the Canucks… Hope this city can get it done without all the yellow tape it has had to endure from the other 2 facilities being built..

    • dronett75 - Dec 10, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      As a Seattle resident, I would love to see an NHL team here
      However, I don’t believe that will happen. This city does not even show the Stanley Cup finals on it’s local NBC station, King 5. They would rather show local programming and the news.
      We have to watch the Stanley Cup finals on an affiliate of the local NBC station. This city is clueless when it comes to Hockey, not the fans mind you, but the city officials and politicians. It’s too bad because I think our residents would support the NHL big time, this city is a melting pot of people from all over the world, many who love hockey. Look what happened to MSL, we ate that up. If they ever build another arena we would get another NBA team (Sonics. They kept the name and heritage here) but I doubt we will ever see an NHL team.

    • bhawksin2012 - Jan 27, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      Yeah it would be terrible if Seattle residents hopped on the Canucks band wagon. They will not will do anything too great any time soon. I doubt the Yotes will move out of the Desert though, Seattle will need to spawn there own NHL team. Phoenix is overused when it comes to NHL re-location rumors. If Seattle does spawn an NHL franchise, they will be rivals with Vancouver, Anaheim, and probably San Jose due to close proximity to the cities.

  4. sknut - Dec 9, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    It does seem Seattle is a passionate sports town and the NBA did screw over the Sonics. I think Phoenix makes perfect sense there. I wonder if Vancouver would be as happy though with a another team so close.

  5. ferrytales1 - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Um, ya. I’m sure the Canucks would LOVE to have a team that they could actually bus to (not that they would) but travel would be fantastic.

    How about when they would have a Home and Home series against eachother. I would imagine Vancouverites would invade Seattle. It would be fantastic.

  6. t16rich - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Seattle would be an awesome NHL city. I personally think Portland would be even better. The Portland Winterhawks averaged over 8,000 fans for their playoff run last year more tickets were made available. 8,000 fans is impressive for a WHL game. Since Rose Garden opened the Trailblazers have had top attendance numbers, with a bit of a dip during the Jailblazer years. The Portland soccer team has some crazy ass fans also. Portland needs to be seriouslly considered as a future NHL home. Lets face it dead weight dosn’t float forever.

    • galuple - Dec 10, 2011 at 4:19 AM

      About 10 years ago there was this rumor that the Canucks were going to move to Portland. A Portland-Seattle-Vancouver rivalry would be great for travel and great for the fans.

      • imleftcoast - Dec 10, 2011 at 8:01 PM

        Portland may be the only town with better peelers. Portland is a great city, but they have no industry. They have a basketball team while Seattle does not, but I can’t imagine Portland getting a hockey team.

  7. nothimagain - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    Seattle’s a bandwagon town when it comes to baseball. With the exception of the Behring years the football team has been mostly well supported by a core loyal blue collar fan base. Ditto for the Zombie Sonics – though a lot of the season ticket holders were priced out of their seats the last decade.

    Seeing MLS soccer thrive in Seattle (apparently the Sounders have lead the league the last two years in attendance and goon attendance) alleviates what little doubt I had about Seattle supporting a professional hockey team.

    We can only keep hoping it’s a question of when and not if.

  8. Nowhere Man - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    As a Canucks fan who lives in White Rock I would LOVE to see an NHL team in Seattle.

    However I’ve got some friends in Seattle who I ask about the NHL in Seattle regularly and they aren’t sold. so ???

  9. trbowman - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    I really want Seattle to get a hockey team.

  10. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    It would be better having a team in Seattle than in the middle of the desert

  11. east96st - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Columbus will sell you the Jackets for a couple kegs and some Doritos. All sales final, no returns. If you go for it, may God have mercy on your soul.

    • bhawksin2012 - Jan 27, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      haha the Jackets are a joke despite getting Carter and Wisniewski and having Nash, and there goalies supposed to be good.

  12. donttouchthedirtypenny - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Seattle and Portland both should get teams. And Quebec. Now, who should move? Phoenix, Florida. Columbus?

    • t16rich - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:17 PM

      You and I are on the exact same page.

      • donttouchthedirtypenny - Dec 10, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        OK. I know I’m getting WAAAAY ahead of everyone on this, but it’s fun to think about. New realignment with Phoenix, Florida, and Columbus moving to Seattle, Quebec, and Portland:
        Tampa Bay
        New Jersey
        New York Islanders
        New York Rangers
        St. Louis
        Los Angeles
        San Jose

    • t9tookey - Dec 10, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      I think you’ll end up seeing a team in Seattle, Southern Ontario and Quebec City. If you look at the realignment plan, Bettman has all but set it up for this. Phoenix moves to one of these cities and the NHL awards two expansion teams. Look at the realignment plan, Bettman has set up the divisions perfectly to welcome these cities/areas into the NHL. Seattle takes Phoenix’s spot in that division, Quebec City and Southern Ontario are put in the division with Montreal and then Tampa Bay and Florida are moved into the division with Carolina. It’s set perfectly.

    • bhawksin2012 - Jan 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      Nah Florida is doing excellent this year and should make the playoffs. Jackets should move and only made the playoffs once, (and never won a playoff game) and Phoenix,, everyone needs to stop thinkin the “Yotes” will move any time soon despite there record low attendance average.

  13. east96st - Dec 10, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    Who gets the short end of the stick and is stuck with Columbus? One of these teams is not like the others. One of these teams just doesn’t belong.

  14. galuple - Dec 10, 2011 at 4:18 AM

    As a Vancouverite, I’d love to have a team in Seattle. Being able to drive 3 hours away to catch Seattle play my beloved Red Wings, and then watch them again the next night in Vancouver would be fantastic.

  15. billyhoyle4real - Dec 10, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    As a kid growing up in Buffalo, NY I paid attention to the Sonics as our NBA team left in the seventies for Los Angeles. My love for the Sonics grew watching Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton and to the draft of KD. I was sad to hear that Seattle fans had lost it’s franchise due to “the need of a new arena”. The difference between me and a lifelong Sonics fan is I followed the team to OKC and proudly support the Thunder today. I long for the day Seattle arrives back on the NBA scene so the rivalry can begin between OKC and Seattle, if there happens to be a NHL squad playing there too… Sorry Phoenix.

    • bhawksin2012 - Jan 27, 2012 at 6:47 PM

      Yotes aren’t going anywhere. If any, there will be an expansion franchise who spawns.

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