Tag: Seattle

Roberto Luongo

Panthers’ owner uncertain of future in Florida


Doug Cifu wants to keep the Panthers in Florida, but the way things are going, it’s just not sustainable.

Speaking to Fox Sports last weekend, Cifu, who along with business partner Vinnie Viola purchased the team for $230 million last September, is uncertain of where the team will be in 5-10 years.

“The arena and the team have lost a significant amount of money year over year for the last 10-plus years and the current business model is not sustainable,” Cifu said.

According to The Hockey News, the team claims to lose $30 million a year and have debt on their arena, which is leased to the Panthers until 2028, of about $250 million.

The story adds Broward County mayor Barbara Sharief and the county have hired a consultant who is looking into the possibility of allowing the Panthers out of their arena lease and the opportunity to relocate.

The results of that report are expected in October.

“We have kept our end of the bargain by signing six free agents on July 1 to more than $60 million of contracts and resigning some key young players to multi-year deals,” Cifu added.

Per CapGeek, the Panthers have over $65 million committed in player contracts for the upcoming season.

The Toronto Sun reported that the Panthers averaged 14,177 fans per game last season, which ranks 29th in the league.

In terms of potential cities for relocation, a report out of Seattle last week suggested real estate mogul Victor J. Coleman has begun discussions with Seattle business man Chris Hansen on agreement to allow an NHL team to play in his proposed SoDo Arena.

“We get lots of expressions of interest — whether it’s from Quebec City, Seattle, Las Vegas, or Kansas City — and we’re listening, but we haven’t enacted a formal process to begin considering expansion,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told the Sun April. “That’s not something we’re intent on doing right now, but we are listening.”

Quebec City may also be a viable option with a new $400 million arena set to open next year.

Related: Report: Devils to lose money in 2014-15


Report: L.A.-based real estate tycoon wants to bring NHL to Seattle


The continuing dalliances between the NHL and the City of Seattle have continued this week and now there’s a name to go with the faces seen in Washington recently.

Chris Daniels of KING 5 News reports Los Angeles-based real estate tycoon Victor Coleman was part of the NHL group that met with Seattle officials on May 6. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly visited Seattle last week and Coleman was part of that contingency.

As Jason theorized in this piece, the group may have been there to see if a new arena could be built with the NHL wanting to go there. Turns out that may have been the case and Mayor Ed Murray and City Council President Tim Burgess aren’t interested.

Perhaps Coleman is the guy to help bring money forward to make it work.

According to Daniels, Coleman has an array of holdings to his name including 26 properties, two movie studios, plus four buildings in Seattle and another in a neighboring city. If he’s got the cash to go with the property, there might be something to build on, but it’s up to the Seattle city leaders to be open to making it work.

Report: NHL pushing for Seattle expansion for 2014-15 season


The rumors about the NHL moving to Seattle are about to be reignited.

Mitch Levy, a sports-talk radio host in Seattle, shared a rumor saying NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is pushing the Board of Governors to make an expansion team available to Seattle. Levy says it would cost $275 million to start the team and that the new team would begin playing in the 2014-15 season.

The same issues that came up when the rumors over the Phoenix Coyotes relocating to Seattle are in play here. There would have to be local ownership and the proposed arena in downtown Seattle would need to be built. The latter part would require some political paperwork to be adjusted to make it happen.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recently spoke about the Pacific Northwest getting “serious consideration” for expansion or relocation so perhaps this is where Levy’s rumors are stemming from. Daly did not wish to comment on this latest development when contacted by PHT.

With Seattle expansion rumors about one city comes speculation about who else would join them as an expansion partner.

If only a team was added to Seattle, that would leave the league with an odd number of teams (31) and for balance sake there’d have to be a second. Quebec City, Toronto, Portland, Kansas City, and Las Vegas make up the group of usual suspects there.

Report: Seattle arena voting scheduled for Oct. 15


City and county councils are expected to vote on the Seattle arena plan next Monday (Oct. 15), King 5 News reports.

To be exact, the dual voting will cover the city of Seattle and King County. The two voting sessions are expected to take place a half hour apart next week.

While it’s possible that an NHL team might inhabit that possible arena in the future, the people behind the arena movement have made it clear that their main goal is to attract an NBA franchise.

In fact, they said that they don’t have a plan that would include an NHL team as the lone tenant.

Some might be sad to realize that this plan probably reduces the chances of an NHL team being named the Seattle SuperSonics. Then again, that NBA team might want to forge its own identity, so you never know.

If you need yet another brief lockout diversion, try naming a hypothetical Seattle-based NHL team.

(About.com has a handy list of Seattle-are team names, if you’d prefer to go the historical and/or lazy route.)

Seattle is getting their downtown arena


After months of negotiations and speculation, downtown Seattle is getting their arena.

The Seattle City Council reached a tentative agreement with real estate developer Chris Hansen to build an arena downtown in the city.

The cost? $490 million.

There is a bit of public money being put to use in this deal as up to $200 million would be used to improve the roads around the new arena to help alleviate potential traffic issues. Hansen may also be required to purchase Key Arena and the land around it at a later date to save the city from owning an aging, obsolete building.

Last week, Hansen completed the purchase of more land downtown in order to secure the area he’d need to construct the new facility and the city is hailed by investors as being a great future location for an NHL franchise. Hansen’s main reason for the new arena is to bring the NBA back to town, but the NHL would also be welcomed there.

At the very least, should things not work out in Phoenix with the Coyotes, there’s a highly intriguing American location that will have a brand spanking new arena in the near future to lean on.