A lot of the potential NHL expansion chatter lately has been centered around Bill Foley’s attempts to bring a team to Las Vegas and his league approved ticket drive to get a feel for how much local interest there is for a franchise. Seattle is still in the picture though.
To that end, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray revealed that he met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday.
“We are very keen on bringing a NHL team here, and the commissioner recognizes the value we would bring as home to a future franchise,” Murray said, per KING 5’s Chris Daniels.
The biggest road block in Seattle seems to be the lack of a state-of-the-art NHL/NBA arena. Chris Hansen has been pushing for the construction of one, but a recent three-month delay of the final environmental impact statement means that permits might not be issued until 2016, per the Seattle Times. The city does have KeyArena, but that’s not seen as a viable alternative.
“The threshold issue, before we can really seriously consider Seattle, would be whether or not there’s a building coming out of the ground,” Bettman explained back in May. “KeyArena is inadequate, and Chris Hansen, who’s the one controls the rights to build a building, is focused on an NBA team. So, until the building issue is one that we can understand better and be told that there’s a realistic possibility of the building coming out of the ground anytime soon, that’s not something that we can seriously consider.”