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Seattle investor has plans to build downtown arena

Feb 5, 2012, 10:41 AM EDT

Seattle Getty Images

The possibility of seeing the NHL come to Seattle is gaining a bit more steam.

A report out of The Seattle Times says that hedge-fund manager Christopher Hansen has been exchanging emails with city officials about his plan to build a new arena near Safeco Field in downtown Seattle.

Hansen’s aim is to get a NBA team back to the city to replace the Supersonics who left for Oklahoma City back in 2008. A new arena would mean the NHL would take Seattle’s interest in bringing a team there far more seriously. With the Phoenix Coyotes potentially in need of a new place to move, and soon, the lure of moving them to a new major market like Seattle would be strong.

The catch for this new arena deal, however, will be how much public money (if any) will be needed to finance it to make it go. Hansen has purchased the land downtown where he’d like to put the building, but constructing it takes a lot of cash.

Seattle has used public money already to build Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field where the NFL’s Seahawks play, but have balked in the past at helping finance a new arena. That move led to the Sonics relocating to Oklahoma, a sore point for many sports fans in the Pacific Northwest.

  1. AlohaMrHand - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    if they do move to Seattle call them the Seattle Sasquatch.

  2. 12is3times4 - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Where would the Coyotes play while the arena is still under construction? Key Arena (or whatever they call it nowadays) was not designed for hockey.

    • t16rich - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Not designed for hockey, yes. It was built with basketball in mind. But it is capable of holding over 15,000 for hockey games. I think playing in Key Arena for a couple of seasons woulnt be a problem.

  3. pavelfitzgerald - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    As you said, he wants to build an arena for a NBA team, not a NHL team. A NHL team is the backup plan. Seattle’s a big enough city & more then capable of supporting the Seahawks (loud & proud), the new Supersonics & the ?’s (Sasquatchers?) but I doubt there would be enough interest for Seattle to support a NHL team if they get their NBA team back

    • t16rich - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      Seattle and the northwest have great sports fans. While you bring up great points and the Sonics would be the big brother to any NHL team if Seattle gets them back. I still think an NHL team would thrive in Portland or Seattle. I dont see Seattle doing worse than Phoenix in attendance.

  4. vipod4ever - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Seattle Metropolitans, first US based team to with the cup in 1917.
    Tradition can be reclaimed, rivalry is the Canucks, and the fan base with the Thunderbirds…just bring Marleau on board as the new captain.

    • AlohaMrHand - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      as a Shark fan I say you may not have Patty!lol

  5. sjsharksfan11 - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    As a Shark fan I say you MAY have “Patty”. He sucks and is a damn wuss.

  6. yettyskills - Feb 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Heard this going on 10 year now
    just like I heard about a new football stadium in Minnesota for 20

    Ill believe it when I see ground broken
    I hope they are finally serious but i’ve heard reports like this far too many times

  7. guinsrule - Feb 5, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I like how these rich guys say “they’re” going to build something…with everyone else’s money.

  8. buffalomafia - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    What happened to Quebec? Seattle would work. I do like the Seattle Metropolitans!

    • thomaspratt - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:05 PM

      Elliotte Friedman, among others, has speculated the league would rather save Quebec City for expansion. The NHL figures to make far more in expansion fees than they would in relocation fees, since Quebec City will undoubtedly be a lucrative market.

    • blomfeld - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      I concur friend, as I believe that the Frenchies will be in for some “trouble” should they opt to pursue a franchise as such …

  9. eastcoastcynic - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    I wouldn’t get my hopes up yet for an Arena–Hansen has got to disclose his plans to the city council and the council will want to make sure that the Key Arena is somehow guaranteed continued viable profitability with the presence of an additional arena in Seattle proper. If there is any hint of using any public tax dollars to fund the arena, it will sink.

  10. blomfeld - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:48 PM


    Friends … that will again be my reply this spring, if I’m approached by members of Canucks Nation who are looking for assistance with “setting things on fire” and “swarming” of law enforcement officials … last year I “frowned” upon the actions of my fellow Vancouverites during that fateful night of June 15th and to this day, my stare of “disdain and contempt” remains steadfast upon these people, whom I unfortunately have to live with …

    at any rate, this latest development regarding a Seattle franchise is fantastic ! … and Key Arena would be a “wonderful” venue in the meantime, at least until such time that the new owners can build a long-term “dual” purpose facility … we must also never forget that Key Arena sits upon “hallowed” ground, being but a short stroll from where Elvis filmed “It Happened At The World’s Fair” back in ’63 ! :) … I for one will “definitely” make trips down there to support the cause ! …


  11. ll8078 - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    MLS team outdraws the entire league to a huge degree, plus has a huge fanbase with a separate team in Portland. Mariners always have fans despite their extensive streak of horrible play. Seahawks fans are second to none. They could definatly support both teams.

    Hockey in Seattle > Hockey in the desert.

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