Fast forward four years.
Enter Seattle native investor Chris Hansen.
Wrong Chris Hansen.
This Chris Hansen wants to bring the NBA back to Seattle, with the added bonus of an NHL team.
This Chris Hansen owns 3 acres of land in SoDo Seattle, just south of the Safeco parking lot. This Chris Hansen has $290 million of his own money to invest, and he's itching to put it toward building an arena fit for both an NBA and an NHL team.
Seattle never wanted to see their Sonics leave. Seattle has been vying for an NHL team for years. Seattle will throw in partial funding, capping off at $200million, promising that the revenues created by the new arena and its clubs would keep the city from raising taxes to pay for it.
- Though Hansen owns some land in the proposed arena location, some local businesses will still have to be relocated and the buildings demolished.
- The proposal still needs to go through a Seattle approval board
- The Sacramento Kings are trying (hard) to find a local investor so they can avoid moving the team.
- The NBA would rather not move the league-owned New Orleans Hornets if they don't have to.
- The NHL hasn't taken Seattle seriously in its bids for a team in the past.
- In order for Seattle to commit to $200m, there must first be agreements by both NHL and NBA teams to move.
The Key Arena was once deemed unsuitable by the NBA to house the Sonics, which was at the root of Seattle's lost struggle to keep the team. However, it may be used temporarily to house a team if a new arena is under construction. It is still up in the air as to whether or not an NHL team could play at the Key. However, Seattle's own WHL team, the Seattle Thunderbirds, have played there in the past, which suggests it isn't impossible.
While this is far from being a done deal, it's certainly starting to look a lot like more of a possibility than a pipe dream at this point. A proposal is on the table. Now we just have to wait for the final pieces to fall into place.
Seattle unveils proposal for new NBA, NHL arena and teams in SoDo [Seattle PI]
Seattle investor has plans to build downtown arena [Pro Hockey Talk]