Last week was another surprisingly busy week on the NHL to Seattle front. Environmental Impact Study on SodoArena was released, Chris Hansen is identified as a backer of the Referendum push for the Arena in Sacramento and an Arena in Great Toronto Area is on the rocks. This is August right? This should be a dead time for news.
1st the Environmental Impact Study (EIS): I am by no means and expert in analyzing the results and if you are, feel free to read through the 437 page document + hundreds of other pages in the Appendix. From what I understand, there are no red flags and the results couldn’t be better. One of my favorite outputs of the EIS is that the Arena stands to produce 286 million per year to economy vs 230k impact the Port of Seattle. Umm..yes, that is 286M with an M versus 230K with a K. Surprisingly, the Seattle Times hasn’t covered this at all. We now enter 45 days of public comments & there are 2 meetings on the calendar Sept 10 & 19 at Seattle City Hall. Expect me to make some noise about those events.
What does that me to us? This is great news. Things are progressing for the SoDo Site. We need to continue to make our presence felt in support of the Arena.
2nd Chris Hansen was identified as a donor of the Referendum efforts in Sacramento: This was an anti-Sac arena move after he congratulated the City and KJ on keeping the team. This isn’t great and although I have opinions on the Sac Arena deal, I think that is really up to the people of Sacramento. I don’t like outsiders telling our city how to vote and therefore don’t really weigh in to other politics. Chris has since owned it and Brian Robinson from SonicsRising.com put an excellent, authentic piece together on the subject. To be so close, I can totally see why Hansen did this and if this is his only blemish, I would say we still have a great person leading the efforts.
What does that me to us? Depends. If you believe the NBA must still come to Seattle first, this is definitely a setback but certainly something that can and will be fixed. The NBA owners might not like this move by Hansen as it technically goes right against their vote for Sac. So the people that must vote him in can now make it a little more challenging….as if it wasn’t already. Michael McCann said it best on twitter, “There’s that saying ‘people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I bet each NBA team owner has made mistakes in judgment.” Now if you If you believe the NHL can come first, this doesn’t change the outcome too much. Hansen might be less confident and therefore might want to make sure he covers his risk a little bit more without a guarantee. At the end of the day, I don’t think this is very material of an impact.
3rd the Markham Arena deal could be killed in September: It looks like the second NHL ready rink in the Greater Toronto Area is going to be shelved for now. GTA is widely believed to be able to support a second franchise but the Council member that supported it in Markham believes that the league is focused on Quebec City and Seattle. He doesn’t really have any insider information but certainly doesn’t want to be caught with a $300M+ white elephant gift with no guarantees of an NHL team.
What does that me to us? Very little. By killing an Arena plan for Markham, it certainly eliminates a perceived competition but if the league wants a second team in GTA it will get one. It will have municipalities and billionaires falling all over themselves to make it happen.
Any while I am pushing links, here was a great article on former Seattle Thunderbird and current Dallas Star Brenden Dillion. Love hearing about these guys as they continue progress in their career. http://mynorthwest.com/745/2335509/From-undrafted-to-shutdown-defenseman-Brenden-Dillon-excelling-with-NHLs-Dallas-Stars