Tag Archives: NHL Expansion

The NHL Commissioner reportedly flew to Seattle to get an update on the SODO Arena

he NHL to Seattle rumors that Seattle Times investigative reporter Geoff Baker started a month ago received a major boost on Tues. March 13th; when King 5 reporter Chris Daniels broke the story that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettmand and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly flew to Seattle to meet with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King Country Executive Dow Constantine. This meeting occurred last week.

According to Daniels, the meeting consisted of Bettman and Daly getting to know Murray and Constantine, as well as receive an update on the SODO Arena;

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Why the Seattle City Council’s Reported Stance on the “Hockey First” Option is a Mistake

Seattle City Councilmen Tim Burgess has stated that he does not believe that the Memorandum of Understanding — between Chris Hansen and the City — will be renegotiated to allow for a NHL first option. This statement comes on the heels of some optimistic reports that the  National Hockey League was looking at expanding to Seattle. Now, any hope of expansion appears to be dead in the water.

In his response to SportsPressNW, Burgess says that the Council is unlikely to renegotiate the MOU because they feel that the financial risk is to high with a hockey first option. He says that it: “…it was quite clear that the financial risk to the city increased dramatically with the NHL-first scenario” during the initial MOU negotiations; it is also said in that article that Hansen is a basketball guy, and is primarily focused on bringing back the Sonics. Continue Reading ->

 

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Rants From The Palouse: Being The Messenger Is Dangerous

Over the last couple of years, Chris Hansen’s plan to build an arena in the industrial district south of downtown Seattle has put me in a tough spot — as a fan, and a wanna be sports reporter. Arena Co. (owned by Hansen and Steve Ballmer) signed a binding contract with former Sacramento Kings owners, the Maloofs, last January; and that contest last through May, 2013.

You’d be surprised at the amount of hate mail and death threats a college blog, that averaged 27.3 views per day during that stretch, can receive. Both sides came after me with a passion during that situation, and it always made me laugh how to groups of people who wanted to maim each other over a basketball team agreed on one thing….that I was the worst person on the internet.

A year later, I’ve found my self is a similar situation; despite the fact that there is no current franchise up for grabs.  Continue reading

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Examining Potential NHL Expansion Partners For Seattle

The rumors that the NHL is prepared to announce expansion to Seattle by no later than June has created a lot of excitement in Seattle. But these rumors have also led to questions regarding the NHL’s current divisional alignment; there are 14 teams in the West and 16 in the East. It would be really easy for the league to balance out the conferences by expanding to two cities in the western half of the United States.

If the NHL does announce expansion to Seattle, that would give the league 15 teams in the West — 31 teams overall. There is very little chance that the NHL is willing to go with 31 teams during a season, because of the scheduling issues that would create, and that means that there probably will be two expansion franchises awarded in June.

There are several cities that would be interesting expansion targets, outside of Seattle, for the NHL. These cities offer a  lot of benefits for the league and could help increase its financial health. Continue Reading->

 

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NHL Is Set To Announce Expansion No Later Than June

The rumors of a NHL expansion franchise to Seattle are looking more like reality than rumor after Geoff Baker’s latest article in the Seattle Times – warning, that link is behind a pay wall. According to his newest article, the NHL is expected to sign a letter of intent with one of three potential ownership groups, and officially announce expansion by no later than June, 2014.

According to Baker’s article, Seattle could be awarded an expansion franchise by no latter than June, 2014:

“Many expect the NHL to award a letter of intent no later than June, at which time the league and chosen ownership group would hold a news conference announcing they plan to bring hockey to Seattle.”-Baker

This rumor comes on the heals of a very successful trip by a delegation of sports, business and political leaders returned from their trip to Vancouver, B.C. This group spent a lot of time touring the B.C Sports Hall of Fame; the delegation even took in a game between the Vancouver Canucks and the St. Louis Blues. Continue Reading->

 

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Steve Ballmer Is Rumored To Be The Third Potential NHL Owner in Seattle

In an interview with Vancouver’s Team 1040 radio host Serkes and Price, Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker stated that the third rumored NHL owner in Seattle is billionaire Steve Ballmer. Ballmer is part of the ownership group that is trying to bring the Sonics back to Seattle, and attempted to by the Kings last year.

If Baker is correct, Ballmer would end up being one of the wealthiest owners in the league. His inclusion into the ownership group list has to make the NHL just salivate at the fact that it is unlikely his club would end up struggling financially for a long period of time.

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What the NHL Expansion Rumors Could Mean For The SODO Arena

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 ->

 

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