In order for public funds to go towards building an arena in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle (where the Seahawks and Mariners already have stadiums), an NBA team must first be guaranteed as a tenant. That’s the deal that was struck with investor Chris Hansen (PDF). And right now, it doesn’t appear basketball is close to returning to the Pacific Northwest city.
But that doesn’t mean the NHL will be shut out of the market. According to the Seattle Times, there are two other potential arena locations that are being discussed — one a few miles south in Tukwila, another to the east in Bellevue.
From the Times:
The Tukwila site, just south of Boeing Field, is owned by Seattle real-estate magnate and onetime Sonics minority owner David Sabey.
And the owners of the Bellevue land agreed more than two years ago to sell it to a developer that still hopes to attract investors to build an arena there for an NHL or NBA team.
Both locations have been considered as arena sites in the past, boasting immediate highway access — Interstate 5 in Tukwila and Highway 405 in Bellevue — and proximity to light rail.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently confirmed the potential to build an arena in one of those locations, though he didn’t handicap the chances of either actually happening.