Rumors of an expansion NHL franchise have sent the Seattle sports community into a frenzy. These fans have spent the days since Baker’s report trying to decipher what a potential expansion franchise would mean for the Seattle Arena; after all, it is unlikely that the NHL would be negotiating an expansion fee if the Key Arena were to be the team’s permanent home.
The Memorandum of Understanding between Chris Hansen and the City of Seattle is currently designed to kick in the public financing once a NBA franchise is acquired. In fact, the specific language in the agreement says that the signers are anticipating running the arena with a NBA franchise before the NHL shows up:
“The Parties anticipate that an NHL Team will be committed to play in the Arena after the date on which the NBA Team is acquired and committed to play in the Arena. ArenaCo anticipates that it will proceed with the Project and, if necessary, operate the Arena during the period between the acquisition of the NBA Team and the NHL Team. The Parties recognize that the value of the Arena to the City and the County will be greater upon the commitment of an NHL Team to play in the Arena.”-Seattle Arena MOU
While that doesn’t sound very promising for the NHL, there are signs that a NHL first option could be easily negotiated within the Umbrella Agreement — the Umbrella Agreement is the finalization of the MOU that makes the arena shovel ready. The biggest of these signs is that the Umbrella Agreement is another period of negotiations between the parties; and you have to believe that a NHL first option is going to come up. Continue Reading ->http://funds.gofundme.com/Widgetflex.swf” quality=”high” flashVars=”page=5ppcb0&template=4″ wmode=”transparent” width=”258″ height=”338″]