Over the last week there was a lot of coverage on the Seattle Center Arena front…
Last week, Geoff Baker had a great profile piece in the Seattle Times on Tim Leiweke. Baker goes into Leiweke’s deep and connected ties with both the NHL and the NBA. The piece is more about his NBA ties, but he does have this little reference about the NHL…
“It’s expected the NHL will grant Seattle a team if the city council next month approves a Memorandum of Understanding on OVG’s remodel.”
Check out the entire article here.
Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s comments
On Monday of this week, during a rather routine Seattle City Council meeting, King 5’s Chris Daniels caught this little nugget from Councilmember Mike O’Brien about the proposed Seattle Center Arena.
“Designed to deliver NHL team by 2020”
– Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Most of us have speculated that the new Seattle Center Arena opening date of October 2020 enables Seattle to be in the hunt for an NHL team. The Councilmember’s comment is the first time we’ve heard it called out so directly. This is a great signal, but we have been down similar roads before. Let’s temper some enthusiasm until after the Seattle Center Arena MOU is executed.
Now, the root of the Councilmember’s comments is the desire for more time with the MOU which could delay the Seattle Center Arena vote a couple months. It remains to be seen if other Councilmembers would be willing to push it out for Councilmember O’Brien, but any delays could jeopardize the opening date of the arena and therefore the ability to obtain an NHL team. This would be a doomsday scenario as it would send a signal to the NHL that we still don’t have an arena; at which time the NHL might look somewhere else for their 32nd team.
The Wixey interview
Q13’s Bill Wixey, landed a sit-down interview with OVG owner and potential Seattle Center Arena developer, Tim Leiweke. The entire interview is fascinating with pretty much no topic off the table including traffic and mobility around Seattle Center, his relationship with the NHL and NBA, and how he views Seattle as a hockey market. There is even a hat tip to the Thunderbirds in the video. I found it refreshingly transparent and would highly recommend watching the entire video.
Here are some highlights:
~7:00 Leiweke talks NHL ownership group and Seattle as hockey market.
~22:00 Leiweke addresses the Sonics move and how he thinks it was the wrong decision.
~45:00 He talks the traffic challenges with Seattle Center and the plan to address some of those challenges.
WATCH: My complete 1-hour interview with @OvgSeattle's Tim Leiweke on the proposed $650 million Seattle Center arena. He fielded some tough questions that we all have about the project. Give it a look. https://t.co/6UrB8wa8Mk #BringBackTheSonics @NHLtoSeattle #SeattleArena
— Bill Wixey (@BillWixey) November 9, 2017