SoDo Arena current state of an NHL first scenario: A little refresher

It is commonly known that the NHL must have assurances of a new Arena in Seattle before awarding the city an NHL franchise. The blocking issue is not as simple as rewriting the current MOU to enable an NHL-first scenario.

For those that don’t know, the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Seattle and King County requires an NBA franchise before construction can begin on the SoDo site. As much as we would like to do a “find & replace” on NBA, it isn’t remotely that simple. First off, Chris Hansen, who signed the MOU with the City & County owns $60Million worth of land on the site wants an NBA team and an NHL ownership group as a partner. The prospective NHL Ownership Group will need to work with Chris Hansen on the nature of their partnership while Hansen still needs to protect his interest/investment should the NBA never come back to Seattle. Of course, Hansen will need to know who the NHL will be selecting before he signs anything binding. If the City & County is going to change the MOU to an NHL first scenario, they must also perform some due diligence on prospective NHL owner (assuming they will be named on the MOU). Oh and we are still waiting for the Final Environmental Impact Study to be completed. So yes…this is complex. There is no one to blame here and based on the one time we have heard from Victor Coleman, he has a “clear path” to getting resolution.

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2 thoughts on “SoDo Arena current state of an NHL first scenario: A little refresher

  1. I’ve thought for a long time that the Seattle area could really use an NHL team, and I believe that without a doubt it would be an improvement over a few current NHL Franchise sites. I’d personally hope the NHL considers relocation before any more expansions. The reason I say that is simple: There are only so many teams actually making profit in the NHL, and currently there are far too many not, and those that are making money are penalized by those that aren’t. There should only be so many at any given time in an “NHL Grace period (say, their first 10 years)” which gives them time to build a fan base, the NHL can pay for marketing etc. Great article though, and you have this Minnesotan hoping it works out for those in Seattle wanting an NHL team.

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