Seattle city council approves arena; Oilers ownership visits to “evaluate market”

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You can celebrate now, Seattle – you’re almost definitely getting a new arena.

The Seattle City Council voted in favor of new legislation, by a 6-2 margin, to build a new downtown arena to try and bring the NBA and possibly the NHL to the city. The plan was initially approved two weeks ago, but other details had to be worked out and re-approved. Of course, the whole deal is contingent on an NBA or NHL team moving there to make it happen.

While the aim of the new building is mainly to bring pro basketball back to town, there’s also interest in bringing pro hockey to town as well to help fill up the new arena, something that’s kept our interest in the story here.

In a curious turn of events, Ian Furness of KJR radio in Seattle reports Edmonton Oilers’ ownership, led by Daryl Katz, happened to be in town to survey Key Arena while Chris Daniels of KING-TV says they’re there to “survey the market.” The timing is a bit obvious.

Katz has been trying to get more money from the Edmonton City Council to help him build a new downtown arena there. The city council has turned him down for that and he’s none too pleased about it, even refusing to meet with them again while relocation has been threatened.