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.