For Seattle expansion to happen in the NBA and NHL, the city will need a new arena. A large step towards clearing that obstacle was made on Tuesday.
“Chris Hansen and his investment team on Tuesday offered to forgo public financing to build a new sports arena in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood,” Chris Daniels of King 5 News reported. “The group also said it would cover the current funding gap to build an overpass over Lander Street, a project long desired by freight and industrial interests concerned about congestion in around the Port of Seattle. The proposal amounts to a stunning and swift turn in the nearly five-year debate over building a new arena and, ultimately, bringing a professional basketball and hockey team to the city.”
Earlier in October, it was reported that NBA expansion to Seattle was on the table (read more about that here).
The NBA was in Seattle from 1967-2008. Following the 2007-08 season, the Seattle SuperSonics were controversially moved and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Seattle has far less history with hockey. Nearby Kent hosts the Seattle Thunderbirds, a junior hockey team. No city in Washington has ever hosted an NHL team.