Seattle investor has plans to build downtown arena

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The possibility of seeing the NHL come to Seattle is gaining a bit more steam.

A report out of The Seattle Times says that hedge-fund manager Christopher Hansen has been exchanging emails with city officials about his plan to build a new arena near Safeco Field in downtown Seattle.

Hansen’s aim is to get a NBA team back to the city to replace the Supersonics who left for Oklahoma City back in 2008. A new arena would mean the NHL would take Seattle’s interest in bringing a team there far more seriously. With the Phoenix Coyotes potentially in need of a new place to move, and soon, the lure of moving them to a new major market like Seattle would be strong.

The catch for this new arena deal, however, will be how much public money (if any) will be needed to finance it to make it go. Hansen has purchased the land downtown where he’d like to put the building, but constructing it takes a lot of cash.

Seattle has used public money already to build Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field where the NFL’s Seahawks play, but have balked in the past at helping finance a new arena. That move led to the Sonics relocating to Oklahoma, a sore point for many sports fans in the Pacific Northwest.