Your priorities for selecting a Seattle Mayor will more than likely be different than mine. Which is why I am not in the business of telling people how they should and should not vote. That said, over the last week I’ve received several emails asking about which Seattle Mayoral candidates support bringing the NHL to Seattle. The goal of this post is to provide my perspective on candidates’ position on bringing the NHL to Seattle, so you can weigh it accordingly. As far as I can tell, no candidate has been directly asked their position on bringing an NHL team to Seattle. Most questions to Mayoral candidates are in regards to arena issues and bringing the Sonics back to Seattle.
Without further ado, here is your Seattle Mayoral Candidate voter guide
Jenny Durkin : I just want a team
If you just want an NHL team in Seattle, Jenny Durkin does not have a preference to SoDo or KeyArena. When asked about which arena she preferred, she responds with ‘whatever gets us a team’. From my perspective, being open to either location is a good approach since it isn’t as simple as one site over another. The city has been in contact with both the NBA and NHL on both locations and if either of them had major issues with either site, I am sure the City (Council and Office of Economic Development) will take that into account. Funding of either location will still need to be vetted and that type of information is done behind the scenes. I appreciate the nuances and know that things are not black and white, which is why Durkin’s approach works best for folks who just want a team, regardless of site.
Cary Moon: Let’s try to make KeyArena work and if not, try SoDo
Cary Moon wants to take a hard look at KeyArena first:
“If we can do the Seattle Center arena proposal with minimal public money, secure the public’s fair share of the profit stream, figure out sufficient transit service to the venue and not build another parking garage, guarantee the venue will be operated in the public interest (i.e. local festivals, and the Storm and the Sonics have priority use over corporate mega-concerts), and if we can protect KEXP and Vera Project and other awesome civic facilities and activities already there, then I am in favor of this proposal .”
Nikkita Oliver: KeyArena is the only option
Nikkita Oliver has issued statements supporting KeyArena. She does not support SoDo because she wants it to be kept an industrial area that preserves maritime jobs.
“I do not support the current plan to build a new arena in SODO because keeping SODO an industrial area supports a long-term sustainable vision for Seattle. It preserves maritime jobs and supports environmental and ecological restoration already happening in this area.”
If you want to see full context of Nikkita Oliver’s response, you can read it here at the Sonicsgate Voter Guide.
Mike McGinn or Jessyn Farrell: SoDo or bust
If you are a SoDo or bust person, McGinn, or maybe Jessyn Farrell, is probably your best bet. The SoDo deal is McGinn’s baby. He aligned with Hansen over 6 years ago before the plan became public. McGinn’s priorities are certainly basketball; however, his commitment to hockey has not been clear over the 6 years I’ve been following the issues.
Jessyn Farrell has also pledged support for SoDo; although, she was also one of the state legislators that signed a letter back in 2016 opposing the street vacation for SoDo. She has explained her flip flopping several times, but I don’t care for this convenient flip flop, which says more about her character than her stance on the arena. A SoDo or bust approach could mean waiting 10 years for an NBA team, since it appears Hansen has not been able to strike a deal with a hockey group. Of course, this could all change if Hansen were to announce a partnership with a potential NHL ownership group.