Private investor could help bring the NBA back to Seattle

NBA back to Seattle? Yes please. Let's throw in an NHL team as well.

2/16/12 in NBA   |   Jess   |   34876 respect

Seattle sports fans suffered a crushing blow when they lost their beloved SuperSonics. Long story short, due to the lack of public funding to build a new arena, the team was relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

Fast forward four years.
Enter Seattle native investor Chris Hansen. 

Wait what? 

Wrong Chris Hansen.

That's better. 

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.

The hangups?
  • 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.
These issues seem to be relatively minor though. The panel appointed to analyze the proposal includes former Sonics head coach Lenny Wilkens. Who better to help decide whether it makes sense to bring basketball back to Seattle? If Hansen strikes out with the Kings, convincing the league to move the Hornets might just be doable. As for the NHL - the Coyotes need a home, and Seattle would almost guarantee a natural rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks; something the NHL won't be able to ignore when considering moving the team. While the league would like to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has claimed that if there's a venue, there would be "strong interest" in moving the team to Seattle.

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]
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5/2/12   |   Jess   |   34876 respect

Looks like this got approved by the city a couple of weeks ago - now it's just a matter of locking up a couple of teams. Fingers crossed, people!

2/17/12   |   Dream_Machine   |   13290 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
Awww, Shawn Kemp...
(Edited by Dream_Machine)

Boom, Goes The Reign Man!

2/17/12   |   kobe_lova   |   61958 respect

Awww, Shawn Kemp...

2/17/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Not sure why people think the Coyotes are a prime team to move...  They do have ownership issues but what they have going for them is a brand spanking new arena to play in.  Which is usually 90% of reasons teams move.  In my mind the team that is just PRIMED for moving is the Islanders.  Who have been trying and failing to get a new building for what seems like decades.  Moving the Islanders west would help a little with the east heavy NHL.

I would also say the Panthers are a team that ought to be moved just because S Florida seems to be a terrible sports market.  But they do, like the Coyotes, have a nice shiny new building so they probably aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Regarding Seattle...  A good large market.  But it was my understanding that many years ago when the Pocklington was considering moving the Oilers one of his options was Seattle but the Canucks vehemently were opposed putting a team that close.  (Although to me a 3 hour drive isn't all that close...)  So he set his sights on Portland before the government stepped in to help out.

PS...  Why doesn't the spell check work any more with the new graphics?????

2/17/12   |   beerstudk   |   1538 respect

I'm sure Paul Allen would throw in Nate McMillan as well... at least he should

2/17/12   |   Jess   |   34876 respect

Totally forgot to mention the best part - shame on me - if this deal goes through, there is a clause in the agreement that both teams are locked in for 30 years. Granted, 30 years seems like a relatively short period of time, but that gives them time to establish roots. Not guaranteed that they won't somehow be relocated after 30 years, but it helps!

2/17/12   |   scquwi1   |   1231 respect

I would like to see a team in Seattle for the NBA and the NHL. 

2/16/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Being as I don't watch NBA, the NBA part doesn't interest me as much, but have the 'yotes move to Seattle?? Well, hell, that's something I could live with!  I can't stand the Canucks, being a Flames fan, so I won't go to a Canucks game unless they are playing a team I like.  I would travel the short distance from Vancouver to Seattle to attend a game there though, willingly!!