It seemed like there might be some significant steps taken in the quest to lure an NBA and/or NHL team to Seattle on Tuesday, until a very ugly, personal scandal derailed the day’s expected announcement.
The press conference was canceled after the latest sexual abuse allegations surfaced regarding Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.
Jim Brunner and Lewis Kamb of the Seattle Times report that a fifth man came forward with accusations of Murray’s sexual abuse.
Murray and the Oak View Group (headed by former Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings executive Tim Leiweke) had been expected to unveil an arena plan that was anticipated to be in the $600-$660 million range. It was expected to be privately funded with contributions made by David Bonderman, a billionaire looking to invest in a possible NHL franchise.
King 5’s Chris Daniels goes in-depth on the expected plans, which would have called for construction to begin in 2018 and possibly conclude by 2020. This video seemed like an appetizer for the eventually-canceled unveiling:
Earlier in the day, the NHL acknowledged that they were “monitoring” the situation, while the NBA took a more standoff-ish approach to the talk of expansion.
The accusations derailed the announcements, with Murray ultimately announcing his resignation.
It’s unclear how this disturbing development affects the larger efforts to bring an NHL team to Seattle beyond scraping plans for announcement today.
This serves as a handy reminder that cities often have far more important matters to consider than bringing in a professional sports team, though.
For further developments, Daniels’ Twitter feed is well worth your time.