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Quick update on the NHL to Seattle Rumblings

It has been a while since we had an actual NHL to Seattle update. So I figured I would give a quick assessment of some of the news making the rounds before everyone gets worked up.seattle-749058-e1357804985931

There was a report over the weekend from the local and reliable reporter, Chris Daniels that the NHL is keeping an eye on the arena news. This isn’t really big news and isn’t materially different than the news from 6 weeks ago. It is getting a lot of attention because it is so timely because: a) nationally, a lot of the Hockey press returns from vacation and b) locally, there are two Seattle public meetings on the arena this week.

Here is the origin of the news that is getting picked up nationally. Everything else is really just a derivative of these pieces that are ultimately saying the same thing, from the same sources leveraging two different mediums:

  1. Chris Daniels Blog “Seattle, Portland frontrunners for NHL Expansion?”
  2. Seattle Arena faces another big week, NHL watching

Here are some select quotes:

“Sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, believe the NHL is now watching the status of the project, and gauging corporate and fan interest in a potential expansion franchise.” –Chris Daniels, King5

“I think Seattle would be a great market for the NHL.” – Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner 

“But I think it’s safe to say we’re very intrigued by the Pacific Northwest generally. Going forward I would expect that to the extent expansion comes into the picture or relocation is needed, I’m sure the Pacific Northwest is going to get serious consideration.” – Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner

I continue to think, no news is good news here as the league has been super silent on the whole situation which is exactly what we would expect. Bettman has acknowledged Seattle as an interesting market. That is more validation than I would expect from the NHL so let’s not get greedy. Once we get through the EIS process (Meeting on Thursday), doors could start to open to change the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to lead with hockey vs. follow the NBA into the arena as the current MOU states.

While I am at it, STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork) has gathered enough signatures to put their Arena deal to public vote. I’ve moved on and would prefer looking forward vs. trying to salvage a past opportunity. That issue is complex and local to Sacramento and care not to influence or pay attention to their politics. Let’s move on.

John Barr
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