Report: Prospective NHL owner working on Seattle arena deal
By Nicholas GossNESN
Seattle is a quality location for a future NHL franchise, and Victor J. Coleman is seeing what he can do to bring pro hockey back to the Pacific Northwest.
Coleman, a real estate CEO from Vancouver, has met with several important people involved with the NHL and the City of Seattle, according to King 5.
"It's clear Coleman has the support of the NHL. One league executive describes him as 'the real deal,' and he was flanked by the NHL's top leaders during a clandestine meeting in Seattle back in May," King 5's Chris Daniels writes.
Getting a new arena built in Seattle appears, at least at the moment, dependent on the existence of an NBA tenant, and there's no indication that pro basketball will be returning to Seattle anytime soon. Daniels also reports that Coleman and Chris Hansen, who wants to bring an NBA team to Seattle with a new arena, have spoken.
"Two sources with knowledge of the talks between Hansen and Coleman say that the two potential owners met in person a couple of weeks ago, and have been actively talking for months. In fact, according to the sources, the two potential ownership groups have signed a 'non-binding' agreement which lays out the terms for Coleman's contribution to the project and his potential revenue streams for a hockey franchise."
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was asked during the Stanley Cup playoffs in May about the possibility of an NHL team coming to Seattle, and he said that the lack of a suitable arena is a roadblock.
"Well, there's good major junior tradition there, there's a lot of interest. There's potential of a good west coast rivalry with Vancouver. But the threshold issue, before we can really seriously consider Seattle, would be whether or not there's a building coming out of the ground," Bettman said. "Key Arena is inadequate, and Chris Hansen, who's the one who controls the rights to build a building, is focused on an NBA team. So, until the building issue is one that we can understand better and be told that there's a realistic possibility of the building coming out of the ground anytime soon, that's not something that we can seriously consider."
If the NHL did have a team in Seattle, it's unclear whether it would be through relocation or expansion. Bettman said in June that the league is not looking at expansion right now.