Seattle is a market that seems primed for the NHL's potential arrival there, as it's both a geographic and demographic match for future expansion or relocation.
What it's needed: a new arena to house an NHL team, being that Key Arena stinks for hockey.
On Wednesday, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen announced plans for a $490 million facility. While the NHL is still in the plans for Hansen and the city, its construction depends only on Hansen's acquisition of an NBA team with a 30-year non-relocation agreement.
There was some interesting financial news in the Memorandum of Understanding that'll be sent to the city and county councils as well. From King 5:
The agreement adds a new wrinkle to an original proposal in that an NHL team is no longer needed to start construction. Only an NBA team, with a non-relocation agreement signed, is needed to begin construction on the proposed 18,500-seat facility.
The city/county investment in the project would be capped at $200 million if both an NBA and NHL team are acquired. The city would cover $120 million and the county would pay $80 million. If it's only an NBA team, the city still covers $120 million, but the county would pay just $5 million.
That said, Hansen still plans on going after an NHL team for the building. From the Seattle PI:
Under the current plan, a Sodo arena would cost $490 million to build, paid for by the $200 million in public funds and $290 million more from Hansen and his investment group. When finished, it would seat about 17,500 people for NHL games, 18,500 people for NBA games and 19,000 for concerts and other events.
Hansen has already purchased land south of Safeco Field, in an area already zone for stadiums. His group is funding, at its own risk, pre-development costs such as transportation and environmental studies. He also plans to acquire an NBA team and find a partner to acquire an NHL team, and relocate them to Seattle, to the tune $500 million.
Again, our only requests: Name the team the Sasquatch; and make the jerseys an awesome shade of green.
Meanwhile, in Edmonton, their proposed new arena is [expletive] awesome.
The city of Edmonton released this CGI "fly through" of the proposed new arena, and we're pretty sure it's something we saw in the "Star Wars" prequels.
That's supposed to be a giant Oil drop, right?
From the Edmonton Journal, on the proposed 18,500-seat, $450 million (max budget) facility:
As planned, it would feature a lower bowl with seating for 9,000 people, 50 per cent more than the lower bowl at Rexall Place, topped by several levels of seating, boxes and loges.
Fans could watch games, concerts and other events from bars and restaurants that would ring the arena. On the east side of the building, 102nd Street would be extended across the property beside three storeys of retail outlets and, if government funding is available, a $21-million community rink would be connected to the arena.
Pedestrians could walk from the LRT station through the complex and across 104th Avenue on a wide walkway being called the Winter Garden, which like the arena would feature large windows so people on the street could see inside. Under the Winter Garden, the arena is to have windows allowing passersby to see post-game interviews and an Oilers "shrine" including five life-size replica Stanley Cups for the team's five championships, he said.
David Staples of Cult of Hockey is running a poll on it, and 90 percent of respondents are loving the design.