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Report: NHL watching Seattle arena situation while ‘gauging corporate and fan interest’

Sep 16, 2013, 12:39 PM EDT

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The possibility of the NHL putting a team in Seattle is always a popular topic on PHT, so we assume this will be of interest, too.

On Tuesday, the city’s Downtown Design review board will meet to review investor Chris Hansen’s plans to build an NBA/NHL arena. Two days later, there will be another public meeting concerning the environmental review.


Sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, believe the NHL is now watching the status of the project, and gauging corporate and fan interest in a potential expansion franchise.  Hansen has been seeking a partner who could be a tenant in a new building.  Sources say NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has been quietly pushing owners to award a franchise to Seattle, perhaps as early as next year.  The NHL has denied that any talks have taken place, and sources suggest nothing has been finalized.

While Hansen (who tried and failed to relocate the NBA’s Sacramento Kings to Seattle) isn’t interested in owning a hockey team in Seattle, others have said they are.

In July, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the league’s interest in one day expanding or relocating to the Pacific Northwest.

Related: Court rules Seattle arena plan does not violate state law

  1. pitpenguinsrulez - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    A team in Seattle could easily build a strong rivalry with Vancouver. There are hockey fans in Seattle as I know this from being a Hockey Puck collector (Converse Slugs to Sher-wood Slugs) so I’m sure they would support there team much like the Seahawks currently. Now just remains the part in getting approval on sorts of levels from a new arena to owners etc.

  2. blomfeld - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    GO SEATTLE !!!

    I personally can’t wait for Seattle to get an NHL team ! Hope the meetings go well and everything falls into place ! :)

  3. bullwinkle88 - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    This is not a good idea. Hansen could care less about hockey and the team would be subservient to any NBA franchise that might arrive at a later date.

    That, plus there is no NHL interest in Seattle. In fact the NBC playoff telecasts were not shown in Seattle last season (and probably many seasons before). Is that a place to put an NHL franchise? NO!!!

    I would prefer Portland if they wanted to move to the NW. Yes an NBA team would still be the prime tenant, but there is bigger support for the NHL in Portland than in Seattle.

    • sunk500 - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      People like you piss me off so much. I’m not sure why clowns like you are saying that NBC telecasts where not showing the playoff because that’s a lie. You clearly do not live here, so do us a favor and shut the f up.

      Not only did NBC show the playoff, but everyone in the Seattle are gets CBC so we can actually enjoy the games with 2 options. In addition we also get Comcast sports channel which shows Canucks games, etc.

      Hockey is big in Washington state, we have plenty of junior teams in the state and they’re well supported along with the biggest beer league scene in the U.S.

      Hockey would thrive in Seattle, we’re crazy for sports. Sounders are breaking attendance records and so are Seahawks along with sound barrier records (136 db last night vs 49’ers).

      I rest my case.

      • avfanforlife - Sep 16, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        @sunk500: How do you get CBC there? I’m in Spokane, and would love to get CBC as well as TSN for more Canadian games. (I’m with DISH now, and even with the Center Ice Pkg, alot of games are shown only in Standard Def. even tho they are actually being broadcast in HD. – VERY frustrating)

    • avfanforlife - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      Bullwinkle is a bit confused. There were issues between some networks and satellite providers that messed up some viewing for a while, but that was it. Nothing to do with any deliberate lack of interest by Wash fans. If you want hockey in Portland, just say you want hockey in Portland rather than pull stuff out of your… I mean make stuff up. Pac NW needs hockey… and two teams in the West (Wash and Ore.) would even up the conferences and be great for the entire region!

  4. innovativethinking87 - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    I just don’t get why their waiting on Seattle. Portland is ready with a state of the art arena sitting there that could just as easily build a great rivalry with Vancouver BC. Everybody knows how fans are in Portland. Look at the Blazers, Ducks and Timbers. They would eat up the NHL.

  5. pensfan1 - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Having been a hockey follower since the expansion from the Original 6 in ’67 I would enjoy seeing Seattle get NHL level hockey. While that would be great there are a few things that need to be in place to make that happen and a lot of it comes down financially on the prospective fan. First, the NHL needs a commitment level of season ticket holders. For Winnipeg to get their team three years ago they had to have 13,000 people (out of just over 15,000 seats available) commit to buying season tickets for the next five years. That is a lot of commitment but they got the sales. They are also in Canada where interest is rabid and there is no competition from the NBA, etc, at the same time. Second are the single game ticket sales. League average ticket price per seat last year was between $60 and $65. Toronto was high at $117 average per ticket. Both of these only get you in the game. Doesn’t cover parking, concessions, souvenirs, etc.

    Seattleites can stomach these kinds of numbers for football and soccer, possibly even the $$$ investment but they don’t for baseball or any current level of hockey available. So there is a level of “personal” involvement needed beyond a Chris Hanson saying he has an arena and the city saying it is OK.

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