Things have happened in the last few weeks. Words have been said, articles have been written, mayors have been surprised. Unless you follow the situation closely, I imagine the greater hockey population has been hearing just a lot of buzz and not quite sure what’s going on. NHL, NBA, what’s going to Seattle, and when?
Some background for those unfamiliar with the situation. The city of Seattle has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chris Hansen’s group that strictly specifies NBA first. Last I read – and I’m sure someone on the internet will correct me if I’m wrong – Hansen wasn’t interested in altering the MOU for NHL first. He has been the largest push so far for a new NBA/NHL arena in Seattle.
What came out in the last few weeks (through the Seattle Times) is that a) Hansen isn’t the only option and b) Seattle isn’t the only option. NHLtoSeattle lays it out really nicely here. For those that don’t bother reading those (you really should). There’s a total of 3 groups, and while all groups have shown interest in all cities, they have their preferences of which one they would like to build an arena in.
But a lot of this is conjecture and speculation. Previous to that article coming out, both the mayors of Tukwila and Bellevue (the other potential cities) stated that they were surprised by their being mentioned by Bettman in his interviews last week. Chris Daniels talked about it here.
And then today:
Adding everything together, it looks more and more like while both the NHL and NBA would like to have teams in Seattle, we continue playing the waiting game until there’s a new arena. As we headed into Super Bowl week, it was announced that the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) was processing at a good rate. Pending all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed on that, it’s been rumored that Hansen may start building – with or without a team.
As the ticket drive continues in Las Vegas, we can to assume Seattle – or Seattle-area – arena talk will continue, especially as in the next couple of months the EIS will be finalized. It’s just a matter of parsing out fact from rumor and knowing that the Pacific Northwest is a prime location for an NHL team.
It’s still not a matter of if Seattle is granted NHL & NBA teams, but when.