You didn't think we were done talking about the SoDo arena, did you?
The return of the Sonics might be on serious hold, but some recent comments by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly have fueled the discussion about focusing on bringing a professional hockey team to Seattle.
"We're getting to the point where some decisions are going to have to be made," said Bettman, who was flanked by his chief deputy Bill Daly at a press conference prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Chicago. "Yes, it's certainly means it's possible the team won't play there next year," said Daly. "Look, we're in the short strokes with Phoenix now."
According to least one hockey writer, a move to Seattle makes a lot of sense:
Moving to Seattle would keep the Coyotes in the west and maintain the integrity of realignment. It would also give the NHL an opportunity to get a foothold in the new $490 million arena that is going to be built in Seattle before the National Basketball Association moves in. There was speculation the Sacramento Kings would move to Seattle, but that possibility was quashed when the team was recently sold and the league's board of governors rejected a move. Of course, there are a couple major hurdles beyond Chris Hansen acquiring an NHL franchise. No. 1, the team will have to play in 11,000-seat KeyArena for a couple seasons, which is not an ideal NHL location. No. 2, Chris Hansen's MOU with the city requires there to be an NBA franchise in order to build the SoDo arena, though there is a strong assumption that could be altered if needed.
The NHL is holding its Board of Governors meeting on June 27 and we'll know more about the possibility after that. Until then, nobody tell the Seattle Times about any of this!
· NHL commissioner suggests Coyotes future in doubt, prompts Seattle talk [King5]
· Will the Coyotes move to Seattle this summer? [The Hockey News]
· Does Seattle Have The Current Facilities For A NHL Franchise? [Curbed Seattle]
· Today In SoDo Arena Developments: What Is The Seattle Times Talking About? [Curbed Seattle]