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Seattle city council approves arena; Oilers ownership visits to “evaluate market”

Sep 24, 2012, 7:51 PM EDT

Storm Saviors Basketball AP

You can celebrate now, Seattle – you’re almost definitely getting a new arena.

The Seattle City Council voted in favor of new legislation, by a 6-2 margin, to build a new downtown arena to try and bring the NBA and possibly the NHL to the city. The plan was initially approved two weeks ago, but other details had to be worked out and re-approved. Of course, the whole deal is contingent on an NBA or NHL team moving there to make it happen.

While the aim of the new building is mainly to bring pro basketball back to town, there’s also interest in bringing pro hockey to town as well to help fill up the new arena, something that’s kept our interest in the story here.

In a curious turn of events, Ian Furness of KJR radio in Seattle reports Edmonton Oilers’ ownership, led by Daryl Katz, happened to be in town to survey Key Arena while Chris Daniels of KING-TV says they’re there to “survey the market.” The timing is a bit obvious.

Katz has been trying to get more money from the Edmonton City Council to help him build a new downtown arena there. The city council has turned him down for that and he’s none too pleased about it, even refusing to meet with them again while relocation has been threatened.

  1. millertime30 - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Because surely, if any organization in the NHL needs to be relocated, it’s one in Canada.. Not Phoenix. Not the Islanders or one of the teams in Florida..

    WHY CAN’T THIS LEAGUE DO ANYTHING RIGHT!?!?!?

    • kotteintheslot - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:18 PM

      Oilers 5th in the league in operating income last year with 19.6 million and Phoenix had -24.4. Nah I think this makes a whole lot of sense…..http://www.forbes.com/nhl-valuations/list/#p_1_s_a6_

      • kotteintheslot - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

        Btw that little minus sign means negative. Just in case anyone was wondering.

      • heynow33 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:19 PM

        Great, the “crack pipe” of the NHL Canada is demanding a “subsidy” to survive!!! LOL!!! They should do a decent blog post here and call it “THE BIG LIE” how hockey is a super money maker in Canada.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      While I agree, there are other teams that should move before Edmonton, but it’s all part of the game to get a new arena. I promise you it’s going to get a lot worse for Edmonton fans.

      As a fan of all Minnesota teams, I’ve seen the Twins be givin up for contraction, sold to a guy in North Carolina who would have moved them there, and every time the state called their bluff and eventually got a new stadium. I’ve seen the Timberwolves sold and relocated to New Orleans before being rejected by the owners, they have major renovations to Target Center coming. The Vikings would not sign another lease at Metrodome until a new stadium passed and it took the NFL’s big wigs to come in and say they would be gone after this year. Now they have a new stadium coming.

      Point is, Edmonton fans, relax your in for a bumpy ride. But the payoff is at least 30 more years of Edmonton Oilers and a new shiny arena… Until they want a new one in 2043.

      • heynow33 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:25 PM

        I don’t wish any teams moves, I just cant stand the “canuck” attitude that EVERYTHING in the sports world revolves around the NHL. They will learn the hard way…nobody cares about hockey. At lease in the USA they will go back to doing what we do during the NHL season. Watching the NFL and college football. The NHL has been dead for decades here.

      • missthemexpos - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM

        As a fan of Minnesota teams, you should have mentioned the Minnesota North Stars!

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:09 PM

        I figured the North Stars were a given and pretty obvious.

    • thenewraoulduke - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Its not the league its the team’s owner. The league probably has nothing to do with it and I doubt they would allow the move anyways. The NHL deserves blame for stuff but not for this.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:08 PM

        Of course the league will let them relocate. If they can prove Seattle would be profitable over Edmonton, and as we know new arenas generate bigger revenue. It’s all about the bottom line, so no, the board of governors wouldn’t reject the move. Heck, they let the North Stars leave the hockey hot bed of America for the town known for hockey, Dallas.

  2. takingbovadasmoney - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    @kot……thanks for the minus sign explanation!

  3. blomfeld - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN !

    There’s a greater chance of the Montreal Canadiens relocating to Mexico City than there is of the Edmonton Oilers moving to Seattle. In fact, I half suspect that this article is intended just to get a reaction from us Canadians ? :)

    Anyway, it’s almost a given that the NHL is now coming to Seattle, probably sooner than later. However it’s going to be via relocation of an “American” team, not a Canadian one. To use a hospital analogy, you could say that the logical choice would be Phoenix, which is only surviving right now by life-support. Yet out in the hallway of this hospital, there are at least 10-12 additional patients with “life-threatening” injuries who require immediate attention, including but not limited to Dallas, Florida, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Columbus, Islanders, Buffalo, Colorado, New Jersey, Carolina, etc. Moving any one of these “sickly” franchises to Seattle would not only save the life of the lucky incumbent, but even more importantly, it would make far more sense for the league as a whole.

    Happy 50th Birthday to Seattle’s World Fair ! …

    • heynow33 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Never say never!, I know you know it all of course.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:43 PM

        For example, there’s no way the Minnesota North Stars would ever move to Texas of all places. No way. Or a Quebec team move to Arizona. No way.

      • blomfeld - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:17 PM

        @ heynow33 and nothanksimdriving123 …

        I know, I know, I know … what the hell was I thinking man ? Anyway, you guys are both right and therefore I stand corrected. In fact, when you think about it, you could almost see the little weasel opening up Dairy Queen franchises in Antarctica, eh ? Nonetheless, our dollar remains above par and so as long as that remains the case, then there’s scant chance of that NY freak allowing any Canadian teams to relocate, right ? The Chattanooga Maple Leafs ? … yeah right, gimme a break ! :)

        *** special video selection for the excellent posters called heynow & nothanksimdriving ***

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 25, 2012 at 3:43 AM

        Except that I suffered a lamentable bout of transitory cranial vapor-lock and had a Quebec team moving to Arizona instead of to Colorado. Oops.

  4. jimw81 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    owners just resolve their hrr issues.

  5. buffalo65 - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Buffalo is healthier than most Canadian teams, more talented too.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      You mean the Buffalo team that lost $5.6 million in 2010-11? Or the Buffalo team that’s 22nd in the league in team valuation? Or the Buffalo team that says there’s no possible way they could survive if a team were located in Hamilton or another in the Greater Toronto area? Buffalo might be in okay shape but let’s not get carried away here.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Sep 25, 2012 at 3:26 AM

      Until now I thought “talent” brings a team into the playoff

  6. jersey77girl - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Note to Seattle:
    Perhaps Boston [ http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/10/report-lockout-could-cost-boston-businesses-roughly-1m-per-game/ ] and Nashville [ http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120919/NEWS0202/309190117/Nashville-hook-millions-even-Predators-don-t-play ] can provide some insight on the hidden costs of bringing an NHL lockout to your town..

  7. dhagentj - Sep 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    As a Seattlite who desperately wants hockey here, I can honestly say that Edmonton is one of the very last teams I would ever want coming to town, and would frankly consider boycotting any such move. I could understand seeing a struggling team without a real fanbase (though I am holding out for expansion) but bringing the Oilers here would feel akin to what happened to the Sonics.

  8. swedeg - Sep 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    The league would love to relocate from a metro of a million to a US metro of 3.5. Makes the TV contract worth all that more. Then Edmonton doesn’t have to build a new arena and just host 10 Flames games every year. Alberta Flames, anyone? I could get you a deal on some cool “A” logos….

  9. jersey77girl - Sep 25, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Maybe the Seattle team can be in the ‘Eastern Conference’ too to ensure poverty stricken owners will be forced spend even more of their < 50% on costly travel, while ensuing their fans [that hold jobs] can't watch their home team's games [live] on TV due to the 4PM [East Coast based] start time for East Coast Games.

    Seeing how player salaries are the only area NHL owners see fit to cut costs, I'm sure the extra travel expenses won't bother them.

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