During The Great SoDo Arena Kerfuffle Of 2013, the conversation was mostly about getting an NBA franchise to Seattle. But now, thanks to developments down in Arizona, discussion has shifted to the possibility of an NHL franchise coming to town sooner than later. We previously asked the question of whether or not the Seattle area could support an NHL team for the couple years needed before SoDo arena could be completed, and we were left with more questions than answers. Mayor McGinn has been making the rounds in the last few days to try and answer them.
McGinn added earlier in the week that Seattle is still considered "Plan B" and a KeyArena stopgap comes with a lot of drawbacks:
"I think it could work. It could be a good temporary building," says Don Levin, who has been mentioned as a potential Seattle NHL Owner. But he acknowledges the challenges, "There are only 9,000 non-obstructed seats. Everything else is obstructed view. I'm not sure you sell them for much." Key Arena seats just over 11,000 for Hockey. 9,000 seats for an NHL hockey game is really, really small. The blog NHL to Seattle decided to try and figure out how the franchise would be able to support itself financially in such a small venue, figuring out that, even with 13,000 seats, it would have to charge $186.33 per ticket to match what the Toronto Maple Leafs make in game revenue. That kind of ticket could price-out a lot of fans, enthusiasm be damned.
Just like with the Sonics, it's too early to tell one way or another. But if the Coyotes do end up moving to Seattle, the city better make sure they get moving on the SoDo arena (or another solution), cause KeyArena might work for a year or two but not much longer than that.
Today In SoDo Arena Developments: How About The Seattle Coyotes? [Curbed Seattle]
Does Seattle Have The Current Facilities For A NHL Franchise? [Curbed Seattle]
SoDo Arena NHL Designs Look Great, Minus A Few Key Details [Curbed Seattle]
Is KeyArena key to arena proposal? [King5]
Potential Gate Revenues in KeyArena [NHL to Seattle]