NHL in Seattle

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A recent visit by the head of the National Hockey League has people in Seattle once again talking about whether the NHL will beat the NBA to town. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says that's "score one" for the hockey execs.

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Could Seattle get a professional hockey team before professional men’s basketball returns to the city? Speculation has ramped up recently, and KPLU sports commentator says there are reasons for that.

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The two most promising chances for the NBA and NHL to come to Seattle this year are now gone. This week the city council in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale voted to approve a lease agreement that keeps the NHL's Coyotes in Arizona.

The news comes two months after the NBA rejected a bid to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says it's a blow to Seattle's arena project, but not a very big one.  

Matt York / AP Photo

Do sports fans in Seattle dare to get excited about the prospect of yet another professional team coming to town?

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel is skeptical about the possibility of the Phoenix Coyotes moving to Seattle.


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A new professional basketball and hockey arena in Seattle could steal tax dollars from neighboring communities. That’s according to the analysis of University of Washington geography professor Bill Beyers, who has spent a lot of time studying the economic impact of professional sports.

Beyers has done previous analyses about the Mariners and Seahawks, as well as KeyArena.  As part of an expert panel, Beyers presented his initial thoughts on the proposed NBA and NHL arena to the King County Council.

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Battle lines are being drawn between people who want a new basketball and hockey arena in Seattle and people who don’t. A town hall meeting at North Seattle Community College at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, July 10th, will give people a chance to speak out on the proposal. 

One issue likely to come up is whether the city is even big enough to support six professional sports teams.  The plan would add an NBA team and possibly an NHL team to the city's pro sports landscape of Seahawks, Mariners, Storm and Sounders. 

Keith Seinfeld / KPLU

How would taxpayers be protected if a new basketball arena gets built in Seattle? The details are in an agreement between the city, King County and the man who wants to bring an NBA team to town.

After three months of meetings and negotiations, there’s now a formal Memorandum of Understanding between investor Chris Hansen and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn along with County Executive Dow Constantine. In the fine print, it describes how Hansen will purchase the land south of Safeco Field, build a new basketball arena on it, and then sell it to the city.

The city of Seattle, King County and investor Chris Hansen have reached an agreement in the effort to build an arena that could bring professional basketball back to the Puget Sound.

The memorandum of understanding announced Wednesday now goes before the City Council and King County Council for approval.

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.

Monica Spain / KPLU

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel likes what he's hearing about a proposed arena deal in Seattle.

The goal is to return the NBA to Seattle and bring the city a professional hockey team with a new arena to be built in the city's SoDo district. The project would be self-funded and not rely on new taxes.

Julie Jacobson / AP

Whether you've been following the team for years or are just now jumping on the Vancouver Canucks' bandwagon, it's worth the ride. Those are the words of KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel as the Canucks vie for their first-ever Stanley Cup title.