The NHL’s interest in Seattle is undeniable. Its geography and its demographics, and the fact that a new arena has been approved by the city for an NBA tenant means a state-of-the-art facility would be available for hockey.
But that’s the catch: There is no NBA team headed to Seattle any time soon, and arena developer Chris Hansen has remained steadfast that he’s only interested in owning a basketball franchise, to the point where his financing deal with the city only kicks in when he acquires an NBA team.
So the NHL is left waiting to see if walks away from the deal with the city (possible, though not probable), that deal expires without him owning an NBA team (ditto) or he’s convinced to renegotiate terms with the city to allow construction of the arena for an NHL team.
Enter Victor Coleman.
Coleman is a real estate maven and the CEO of Hudson Pacific Properties. He’s also someone rather desirous to bring the NHL to Seattle.
“I think the demographic base (in Seattle) and the desire of the NHL in that marketplace is the perfect match right now. The expansion of the NHL into the Pacific Northwest, with Vancouver and the presiding area, makes it a perfect fit,” he told Chris Daniels of KING 5.
Coleman was part of a meeting between city officials, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly earlier this year. As of now, he’s at the forefront of talks to potentially own a team in Hansen’s building.
From KING 5:
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.
That’s the good news. Now, for the lingering frustrating news:
It may be tougher to get the councils to adjust the MOU to allow for Hockey first. No elected leader has indicated it is even up for discussion. “There is obviously a deal in place that can get done,” said Coleman. “The semantics by which it gets done, and the priorities by which it gets done, are going to depend on city officials, the county, and the Hansen group.”
Basketball is the priority for Hansen. Basketball has been the priority for the city and the county. Convincing them otherwise is going to come down to timing, opportunity (for relocation or expansion) and, perhaps, Victor Coleman.
“We have a clear path,” he told Daniels.