The NHL has long been linked to Seattle with the two parties being a natural fit, as the city represents not only a strong market on its own, but one that can feed off the hockey-mad Vancouver/BC region just to the north. The biggest hangup has been finding an arena for a potential Seattle team to play in, as well as an NBA tenant to keep said arena full. Now it appears those issues have been addressed.
King 5 reports that prospective NHL owner Victor Coleman of Vancouver has found common ground with prospective NBA owner Chris Hansen, who ‘successfully negotiated a deal with the city and county in 2012 to build a new NBA and NHL complex, pending an environmental review.’
“I think the demographic base (in Seattle) and the desire of the NHL in that marketplace is the perfect match right now. The expansion of the NHL into the Pacific Northwest, with Vancouver and the presiding area, makes it a perfect fit,” said Coleman. “There are built in synergies. That’s a ‘Day 1’ rivalry.”
Any pact between an NHL and NBA owner would be huge for Seattle sports fans. The biggest hangup for an arena deal has been the idea that only one tenant would reside in the arena to start. Since the NBA has much bigger earnings potential right out of the gate, any NHL owner would have to wait for a basketball tenant to get a proper arena. Now it appears that Coleman has found his match and his ideal spot in the Seattle area.
“The location Chris has established is the right location, and we’re excited to be a part of that,” said Coleman.”That’s the best location we see, surrounding the transportation needs and the growth in Pioneer Square.”