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Seattle’s new arena plan lacks “NHL-only scenario”

Sep 26, 2012, 11:38 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets - Game Three Getty Images

An NHL team might play in Seattle’s potential new arena, but not without an NBA squad, according to The National Post.

City council member Mike O’Brien revealed that having an NHL tenant alone won’t be enough to get a new arena built.

“There is no provision for an NHL-only scenario,” the council member said. “I don’t think we would move forward, [an arena] is certainly not contemplated in any of our discussions with just an NHL team.”

Going further, the Edmonton Oilers’ flirtation with relocation rubs the city council member the wrong way considering the parallels between the Oilers and the former Seattle Sonics.*

“What’s going on in Edmonton kind of tears at me a bit because it feels similar to the situation we were in four years ago when the Sonics, our NBA team, was heading out,” O’Brien said. “We had an owner who was demanding a certain amount of investment in a new stadium and the people just weren’t willing to go there.”

The Katz Group is currently testing how far Edmonton will go, but Wayne Gretzky doesn’t think they’ll move.

This story shows that the Katz Group’s leverage could evaporate without the NBA, too.

* – Which Oiler would be Kevin Durant, though? Some believed he was too skinny, so maybe Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fits the bill.

  1. rushledger - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    The sonics relocations should have never happened. Oilers are doing what they have to for a new arena.

    • revansrevenant - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:53 AM

      Taxpayers should never have to foot the bill for a new arena. End of story.

      • paperlions - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM

        I have no problem with tax dollars going to build a new arena….as long as it is not a gift, and the city/state that helps build the arena shares appropriately in the profits generated by the arena and associated structures via a reasonable lease agreement, and a percent take in parking and concessions. “Investing” in an area should lead to a net gain in revenues….not a gift to billionaire misers.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:39 AM

        If you don’t want to help pay for it, then don’t complain when your favorite sports teams leave your town for another that is willing to help pay for it. That’s the type of business we are in with professional teams now.

        If you don’t want to pay for it, and they stay, then don’t go to the new arena or stadium where your favorite team plays, don’t go to the concerts that go to the new arena/stadium, don’t go to the Super Bowls, Final Fours, NCAA hockey tournaments, Presidents conventions, or anything else. don’t go to anything, because you don’t want to ever use it!

  2. ravenscaps48 - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    They’ll get an NBA team in Seattle. You’ll end up seeing a team like the Milwaukee Bucks, who struggle to stay relevant in the league in both attendance and performance, move their team to Seattle… The only reason the Sonics moved was because Key Arena was 137 Years Old (exhagerration) and it was so damn hot in that arena. Now that there’s a New Arena being built, I’m thinking it will take less than 1 year before you’ll hear an announcement regarding which teams will be the next big thing in Seattle. I’m happy for them, it’s a very underrated sports town. Fans deserve to have the Big 4 up there! (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL)

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:41 AM

      Isn’t Sacramento leading candidate? I believe Milwaukee still has around 5 years left in their lease agreement

      • ravenscaps48 - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        Yeah. Forgot about the Kings. Their new Arena deal fell through in April, didn’t it? If that’s the case, then they are the prime candidate to go to Seattle

  3. eastcoastcynic - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    We NHL fans in Seattle knew this. We knew that Hansen wouldn’t put the shovels in the ground until he had an NBA team in hand. He’s a Sonics freak through and through. Even though he isn’t interested in buying a NHL team, Hansen wants an NHL franchise to help pay off the construction of the arena–I believe it’s being financed with Revenue Bonds. If getting the NBA is the only way of getting the NHL, so be it; Just get it here.

  4. nothimagain - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    The Oilers aren’t going anywhere. I’ve been a fan of the team since Jari Kuri, but I don’t want to see them in my hometown of Seattle or anywhere else. Too much history and too many proud fans to move that franchise.

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