National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman was in Seattle, along with his deputy commissioner Bill Daly, to meet with city officials about the progress of a multi-use arena that would presumably tenant both an NBA and NHL team.
Unfortunately for hockey fans in Seattle, it doesn’t look like things are moving along too well, as the plans for the arena have everything on hold.
Acccording to Rotoworld.com, Bettman said, “The possibility of a new arena is at best uncertain. And that’s what we learned (on the trip).”
Both fans and investors in Seattle have been lobbying for an NBA return to the city, with investor Chris Hansen holding rights to build a new arena in the city, but with no interest in owning an NHL franchise. Without an arena, the NHL wouldn’t even consider expanding to the Seattle market.
It has been reported that the CEO of Hudson Pacific Properties, Victor Coleman, has interest in purchasing an NHL team specifically for Seattle.
Hansen has refused to move forward on any plans to build the arena until the NBA agrees to expand to Seattle. Any NHL expansion would be contingent on that situation becoming completely resolved, which doesn’t look to happen soon.
Bettman has recently stated that the NHL is as strong as it’s ever been, which would lead one to believe that he feels expansion wouldn’t harm the league.