Seattle’s new arena plan lacks “NHL-only scenario”

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An NHL team might play in Seattle’s potential new arena, but not without an NBA squad, according to The National Post.

City council member Mike O’Brien revealed that having an NHL tenant alone won’t be enough to get a new arena built.

“There is no provision for an NHL-only scenario,” the council member said. “I don’t think we would move forward, [an arena] is certainly not contemplated in any of our discussions with just an NHL team.”

Going further, the Edmonton Oilers’ flirtation with relocation rubs the city council member the wrong way considering the parallels between the Oilers and the former Seattle Sonics.*

“What’s going on in Edmonton kind of tears at me a bit because it feels similar to the situation we were in four years ago when the Sonics, our NBA team, was heading out,” O’Brien said. “We had an owner who was demanding a certain amount of investment in a new stadium and the people just weren’t willing to go there.”

The Katz Group is currently testing how far Edmonton will go, but Wayne Gretzky doesn’t think they’ll move.

This story shows that the Katz Group’s leverage could evaporate without the NBA, too.

* – Which Oiler would be Kevin Durant, though? Some believed he was too skinny, so maybe Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fits the bill.