Metro Seattle: NHL, NBA and Arena - Part III (post #217 - arena announcement 2/16)
Some excellent questions from Ian Furness for Mayor McGinn in this interview, resulting in some insightful answers including these:
Host: Are we closer today than we were 3 months ago, 6 months ago, or a year ago, not to seeing an NBA or an NHL team here, but are we closer today to seeing an arena built within the Seattle city limits?______________
The Seattle Mayor says at 4:00:
"I don't think they are moving forward unless they have commitments from the NBA and NHL...my understanding is that given the way these things work, they probably have some kind of pathway..."
Steve Kelley of The Seattle Times wrote on Saturday that the financially strapped Sacramento Kings could become the Seattle SuperSonics as soon as this fall. Kelley joined the "Bob and Groz" on Monday to discuss why he's so optimistic about the return of professional basketball and hockey to the Puget Sound.______________
"I'm surprised it hasn't happened already," Kelley said. "You go down there for a Mariners game and there are very few places to eat, very few places to hang. I think they need more of that anyway."
Jessamyn MacIntyre is the Executive Producer of ESPN Seattle Radio. She has 858 Followers on Twitter. She's been tweeting hard on the subject for the last couple days as far as I can see, including this.
Spoke to a WA govt official last night who had been in contact with #Arena investors. Says the deal is 'extremely close' #NBA #NHLhttps://si0.twimg.com/profile_images...ably_small.jpg
Interesting from the comments section...the most popular posts:
Shoreline, WA - February 4, 2012 at 8:25 PMRating: (15) approve (3) disapproveThe sheer volume of voters in the NHL-specific poll (as of 10:30 pm PST) in comparison to the NBA-specific poll is quite impressive. Almost 4 times as many NHL-specific poll voters.
Where would you want a new NBA/NHL arena?
Build it in Seattle near the other stadiums. (68%, 3,423 Votes)
Are you kidding? Another arena? We don't need the NBA and NHL. (12%, 626 Votes)
Give it to the Eastside, where there's more private money. (12%, 588 Votes)
Do another big KeyArena renovation instead. (8%, 412 Votes)
Total Voters: 5,049
Do you miss the NBA in Seattle?
I cry myself to sleep into my old Sonics pillow and bed sheets. (56%, 457 Votes)
I miss the Sonics, but I can get behind a team like Portland. (21%, 175 Votes)
Good riddance. Didn't care then, don't care now. (10%, 85 Votes)
Whatever. College hoops does the trick. (10%, 84 Votes)
What the heck is a free throw? (3%, 20 Votes)
Total Voters: 821
Would you support the NHL in Seattle?
Yes! I love hockey and want more than the Thunderbirds. (63%, 1,957 Votes)
Yes, though I don't know whether Seattle cares enough about hockey. (18%, 548 Votes)
Only if it means we get an NBA team again! (12%, 362 Votes)
No. Seattleites don't care about hockey. (5%, 142 Votes)
Meh. Football, baseball, soccer and WNBA is enough. (2%, 84 Votes)
Total Voters: 3,093
I scratch your back, you scratch mine?
Seattle is the city with buzz in NHL circles and word has now leaked out that financier Christopher Hansen has been working with city officials in the northwest metropolis to construct a new facility.________________
The Maloofs (Sacremento Kings owners) using Seattle as the 'relocation' card in their bid for a new arena in Sacremento makes complete sense. Last year they did the same thing with Anaheim and the Ducks owner Henry Samueli. I'm sure Samueli is now in once-bitten-twice-shy mode. He made a great offer to the Maloofs, provided financing for their relocation fee and arena improvements through a Anaheim muni bond offering backed by his Anaheim Arena Mgmt company.
It didn't work though. The Maloofs pulled the plug on Anaheim at the last moment. What scared the Maloofs off? The public facing statement was that they wanted to give Sacremento Mayor Kevin Johnson another shot at getting the financing in order for a new Sac Arena. Could it be though that Chris Hansen stepped in at the last moment last May to make the Maloofs a better offer? (Is it coincidence that Hansen's hedge fund, Valiant Capital Management, at one point last year owned $50M of stock in Samueli's company, Broadcom? Or is that part of a side deal/leverage Hansen has with Samueli to keep him on the sidelines with regard to the Sacremento Kings?)
Seattle Mayor McGinn stated that its probable that Hansen already has some sort of "pathway" with an NBA team. The hot rumor is that its the Sac Kings. That points to the Maloofs and Hansen perhaps having reached advanced talks by this point. The conversations would likely had to have started last season. NBA commissioner David Stern did admit yesterday that he did indeed take a meeting with Hansen last year.
The Maloofs though are on record as saying that they will not sell the Kings. If they need to relocate, they want to remain the owners. Its quite possible, Hansen offer provides for some sort of ownership position. However, complete ownership by the Maloofs is unlikely as they don't seem to have the longterm financial wherewithal according a SacBee columnist.
Apparently, even after selling a majority stake in their Palms Casino Resort in Vegas recently, the Maloofs still owe the city of Sacramento ~$70 million and the NBA another ~$100 million. Those parties will want their money back from them at some point. Perhaps Chris Hansen is their new Mr Money Bags.
We'll find out soon enough. The NBA has imposed a deadline of March 1 for the City of Sacremento to provide a framework for financing a new arena. Sacramento says it can probably raise about half of the $387M required. It's plan is to sell its city parking business (worth $9M/year in annual revenues) to a private company to run. It's received some a couple non-binding bids from parking management companies that look like could be worth about $185M. The City Council is supposed to meet Feb 17 to review. It will have a couple weeks afterwards to decide what its going to do.
If Chicago is any indication, this could be a bad move both financially and from a PR standpoint. The City of Chicago sold their parking business apparently for half of what it was worth, yet the private parking company raised meter rates immediately. The citizens of Chicago very quite unhappy with the whole deal.
Back to Sacremento -- because the the city budget can't really afford to be without those $9M in annual parking revenues, the City has to find way to replace that revenue stream. An option under consideration is a new tax. Arena event goers will likely be paying a surcharge on their tickets to future Kings games if everything goes through.
Maybe the City should also look at taxing visiting teams and players as well -- something that the State of Washington/City of Seattle will likely pass soon in order to pump about ~$60M into Hansen developing the new arena.
I mentioned New Orleans Hornets in the previous Seattle thread. But these Sacremento Kings may be lower hanging fruit for Hansen. The Hornets are locked into a lease that expires 2014. Now that doesn't mean they can't be moved by a new owner if they also get the NBA relocation committee's blessing.
It will though cost the new owner more to do so since the City of New Orleans will then undoubtedly seek damages for the team breaking the lease (just like Seattle successfully negotiated damages, when Clay Bennett broke the his Key Arena lease in order to move the Sonics to OKC).
In that same article about the CP3 trade back in Dec, Stern says, "Our sole focus was and will remain, until we sell this team, hopefully which will be in first half of 2012, how best to maintain the Hornets, make them as attractive and a competitive as we can and ensure we have a buyer who can keep them in New Orleans." So it shouldn't be to much longer until we find out what happens with them too.
The City of Seattle is using its leverage to get Hansen's partner, the unidentified prospective NHL owner, to agree to use the Key Arena rather than the Tacoma Dome as their temporary home. Smart move by Mayor McGinn et al...
Sources close to the ongoing arena negotiations suggest the future of KeyArena is a vital component of any deal.The reporter is Chris Daniels, who has been pretty close to the situation since news started leaking about Levin and the Bellevue option, last year. He's from the NBC affiliate in Seattle -- naturally.
This is VERY good news for Seattle's NHL hopes. The NBA and Arena come as a bundle deal. The NHL follows in the NBA's footsteps, ie, Phoenix moves to Seattle.
And if it is the Sacremento Kings headed to Seattle next season, then the New Orleans Hornets will again, I would imagine, be in Larry Ellison's (Oracle CEO) cross-hairs to be acquired and moved to San Jose, something he attempted to do in the recent past.
Ironically, the NBA's relocation committee is headed by Clay Bennett, the one who bought and moved the original Sonics to Oklahoma City.
Regional Sports Network Component
The lucrative RSN opportunity mentioned by the arena consultant hired by the City:
Hirsh offered broad outlines but few details as part of an effort to update council members on negotiations from which they have largely been excluded. Revenue to build a Seattle arena and to cover the costs of acquiring NBA and NHL teams could come from admission taxes from events at the new facility, as well as the development of a lucrative television network...a wholly owned broadcast network, such as ones run by the New York Yankees in baseball and Texas Longhorns in college football.______________
Root Northwest is the former Fox Sports Network that is now owned by DirecTV. DirecTV is a competitor to Comcast. And DirecTV's Root Sports is a competitor to Comcast Sportsnet.
Comcast SportsNet NorthWest is more dominant in Portland OR...
Comcast SportsNet Northwest (CSN Northwest) is a regional sports network that covers local sports teams throughout the Northwestern United States, particularly Oregon and operates as a member of the NBC Sports Group. The Portland Trail Blazers and Oregon Ducks are the main attractions, but the channel also covers other northwestern U.S. sports including college and high school teams.Where as Root Sports Northwest is more dominant in Seattle WA...
Root Sports Northwest has coverage of the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC, Portland Timbers, Utah Jazz (via Root Sports Utah), and local coverage of the Pac-12, Western Athletic, Big Sky, West Coast and conferences. In 2008, FSN Northwest started broadcasting WHL hockey. Root Sports Northwest is still affiliated with FSN to secure its programming arrangements with the aforementioned collegiate athletic conferences.
To make in roads in the much larger Emerald City market, Comcast needs more relevant content than this...
Comcast SportsNet Northwest carries 25 Vancouver Canucks NHL games per season, using the feed from Rogers Sportsnet Pacific. Using relationships with other Comcast-owned channels, CSN Northwest also broadcasts 35 other games from around the league; However in 2011, Comcast SportsNet Northwest announced that their NHL schedule with feature the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks. Additionally, the channel offers select Portland Winter Hawks home games from the WHL.
Its public knowledge that Comcast is constantly bickering with DirecTV over the carriage of each others RSNs. Thats because there is a bitter war between DirecTV and Comcast over the US Northwest to the point where Comcast will use any means necessary to get an edge on DirecTV (even to the point of unintentionally upsetting their very important NBA team partner, the Portland Trailblazers [Paul Allen]).
Now, Comcast also owns NBC and NBC Sports, the new premier broadcast partner of the NHL and committed to them to the tune of $2B deal. Wouldn't it behoove NBC/Comcast to use their newly found massive leverage within the NHL to have them get an NHL team to the Seattle market ASAP (while in the process having that team sell its TV rights to CSN NW naturally).
Imagine being the Chairman of NBC Sports and seeing your RSN in the NW go from virtually no Seattle content ownership to having Seattle's NBA, NHL and MLB teams all on Comcast SportsNet NorthWest. It would certainly be a brilliant maneuver in Comcast's attempts to rival Root Sports Northwest in Seattle IMO.
Looking at the future: a Mariners, NBA, NHL sports network? Sports and media expert agrees Mariners in line for big financial windfall in coming years.
The author provides some real life examples as well as options for the a multi-team RSN scenario:
In speaking with Chase [Adam Chase, a Washington, D.C-based lawyer with the Media and Information Technologies practice group at the DowLohnes], there are essentially three ways the Mariners can go on this:
Based on precedence then, if MLB, NBA & NHL Seattle teams went with Option 3, I would guess that they would own 75-80% and Comcast would get the other 20-25%. As the media consultant, Chase said, in the article, if "all of those rights are combined in one RSN, it's pretty compelling programming...tough for a cable provider not to carry that.''
When the cableco carries your channel, that guarantees your RSN a huge amount of annual recurring revenues for lets say up to 10 years (which is the length of the Mariners current deal with DirecTV). Those guaranteed revenues substantially increase the values of the partnered-up franchises, something even the lowly Houston Astros experienced in the example above.
Now recall, Comcast/NBC has a $2B investment in the NHL. A Seattle NHL team will strike a deal with Comcast undoubtedly. The question is, will the Seattle NBA team and Mariners come along?
Well, it's in Comcast's best interest to get both of them as well since it would remove the Mariners from the clutches of the Seattle incumbent, DirecTV -- something that would obviously be a huge blow to the latter. And it would seem with the NBA & NHL partnering on the Seattle Arena solution, Comcast would be able to get the NBA as well. Plus, Comcast already has the Portland Trailblazers.
The Seattle billionaires are obviously aware of this big picture big dollar media opportunity. That's why I say they must be lining up to get a piece of the NHL team as owners. And IMO at the head of the line could perhaps be cableco and NHL business veteran, and Bellevue resident, one Mr. John McCaw Jr.
NHL Franchise Ownership
Chris Hansen's NHL partner is not Chicago's Don Levin. This mystery person apparently resides in Bellevue WA.
It likely has to be someone who has already done business with the NHL, since an enormous amount of credibility would be required (on both sides), for things to inch closer to conclusion simply on handshakes.
I did a quick search and found this linked article stating John McCaw Jr. is specifically from Bellevue. If this is the case, the prospective NHL owner partnering with Hansen could very well be McCaw. There is a pre-existing relationship and trust between McCaw and the NHL. And that fact that this partner is still a mystery is befitting of McCaw's low key M.O.
Also, McCaw already has the experience in running an NHL club and could very well get a relocated Coyotes up and running in Seattle relatively quickly I would think.
McCaw family once owned the 30th largest TV cable company in the US, McCaw Cablevision. Apparently John McCaw Sr., their dad, built the family wealth through cable TV in the Northwest. Unfortunately, McCaw Sr. had to sell off some stations during a debt-laden time period. And then in the late 80's his sons sold the whole cableco to another regional player, for greener pastures in cellular in the 80s (obviously the right move at that time). Ultimately, that combined cableco entity was swallowed up by, guess who -- Comcast.
Now that cable sports is the most profitable segment in the new TV industry, perhaps the McCaws are looking to leverage old NHL relationships and cable business experience, to restore the family reputation in the cable industry. With the McCaws now out of cellular, wireless, and sports, I would hazard guess one or more of them has had some of their abundant cash invested in Chris Hansen's impressive hedge fund, Valiant, which has done fabulously well investing in the likes of Apple and Google.
The McCaws and Hansen must have those same $$$$ signs in their eyes when envisioning a piece of the regional sports net action with NBA/NHL anchors for the 13th largest media market in the US (not to mention nieghbouring markets).
The John McCaw Jr. is officially on my radar.
I'm sure Steve Ballmer is involved somehow as well. The Microsoft CEO "sold $1.3 billion in [MSFT] stock last year...and a few years ago Ballmer was part of a prospective ownership group to invest $150 million towards a $300 million renovation of KeyArena" in an attempt to keep the Sonics in Seattle.
The proximity to a rabid NHL fan base a couple hours north (think "Buffalo Sabres West"), along with a strong partnership between the NHL & NBA franchises (with regional sports network ambitions also in mind), IMO, guarantees the success of a Seattle NHL franchise over the short and long term respectively.
It's really a no-brainer once the Arena plans crystallize. Billionaires must be literally lining up in Seattle to get a piece of the action.
Seattle to Vancouver
Valiant Capital Management is a $2.7 billion global long/short equity hedge fund founded by Christopher R. Hansen in March 2008. Prior to that, Christopher Hansen was a Managing Director of Blue Ridge Capital from 2001 to January 2008. Mr. Hansen is the President and portfolio manager of Valiant and is supported by six junior partners who serve as senior analysts.
Chris Hansen graduated from San Diego State University in 1991 with a BS in Business/Finance. Prior to returning to graduate school at USC, Chris worked as a financial consultant for American Express Finacial Advisors and managed over $7 million in client assets. Upon completion of his MBA, Chris pusued a career in securities analysis and accepted a position with Montgomery Securities in San Francisco. Chris later worked for Blue Ridge Capital.
New Arena Options
Sodo District (South of Downtown)
Bellevue (Former Safeway Distribution Center)
Bellevue is a Seattle suburb on the east side of Lake Washington - below is the plan for the future Light Rail route:
Temporary Arena Options
Seattle Market Analysis
Metro Seattle Market
U.S. Local TV Market Rankings
Ranked by Number of TV Households per Designated Market Area (DMA)
As Of August 30, 2011
Current Seattle Area Hockey Teams
WHL US Division
History of Seattle Hockey
Seattle Metropolitans - 1917 Stanley Cup Champions - played at the Seattle Ice Arena, 1200 Fifth Avenue, downtown Seattle (since replaced by an office tower)
Hockey In Seattle - $15.99 Amazon
Book Description (Publication Date: November 16, 2004)
Professional, semi-pro, and junior league hockey teams have skated on Seattle ice for nearly a century. Great players like Frank Foyston, Bill MacFarland, Guyle Fielder, and Glen Goodall have thrilled fans and led their teams to championships. Hockey in Seattle is the story of these men and their teams. These stories are all here the birth of hockey in Seattle, the 1917 Stanley Cup champions, the glory years of the Totems in the 1960s, and the Thunderbirds of today. Along the way you ll meet the players, owners, and fans that make up Seattle s colorful history as a hockey town. Put on your skates, pick up your stick, and relive the memories.
About the Author
Jeff Obermeyer is a 13-year season ticket holder with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. His work has been published in Nostalgia Magazine and he helped produce a series of two-minute radio spots on Seattle hockey history heard on Thunderbirds broadcasts.
Seattle Uniform Concepts
Seattle News Log
"Seattle sports-arena talks well under way, documents show"
The Seattle Times, February 4, 2012:
Emails and documents released by the city show that there's a far more focused effort to bring an NBA team back to Seattle and build a new arena than previously known.
Arena and Team Announcements could come in April
The Seattle Times, February 4, 2012:
Obviously much still needs to be worked out, but an announcement of an arena plan and the opportunity to bring the NBA and NHL to Seattle could come as early as April, and this is no April Fools' joke.
NHL EVP Bill Daly talks up Seattle and plays down Quebec
LaPresse, January 29, 2012 (translated):
"Yes we can. Yes you can write that the Coyotes could move to Quebec City next year. But you must also add that other cities, as well as Quebec, could inherit the Coyotes...Seattle, like Quebec, [is a city where an] arena has yet to be built. Existing infrastructure - the Colosseum and the Key Arena, which served as home to the SuperSonics basketball club before being relocated to Oklahoma City - could serve as a temporary solution.
To make the arena profitable, it will require both the NBA and the NHL...
Le Soliel, January 30, 2012 (translated):
"Our efforts are serious. There are several private groups are competing to build an arena, and what motivates them at the base is an NHL franchise," said an influential person working with the group to give Seattle franchises for both the NBA and the NHL. In order not to undermine the efforts of investors, this insider of the Seattle sports scene prefers to remain anonymous.
We have a motivated Seattle Mayor and a motivated Arena Developer...
The Seattle Times, January 13, 2012:
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed a $19,500-per-month contract in July with sports-facilities consultant Carl Hirsh to advise the city on the development of a new sports facility that could draw an NBA team back to town.
Levin is not the one working with Hansen...
NBC King 5 News, January 4, 2012
Don Levin has watched the Puget Sound’s arena talk closely, and acknowledges now from his office in Chicago, it’s time for the people to step forward. “Time is of the essence,” says the owner of the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves. “A city needs to step up.”
Washington State Government will put up the arena "down payment" thru a sale of state bonds funded by a new event tax...
Kiro TV News, January 9, 2012
Washington state lawmakers are working on a new proposal to bring NBA basketball and the National Hockey League to Seattle, and are optimistic a new approach could work. When the Sonics were up for grabs for years ago, lawmakers refused to even vote on committing taxpayer money to help pay for a new arena.
Hansen's NBA group is working with one of two Seattle NHL groups...
The Seattle Times, December 23, 2011
A wealthy San Francisco hedge-fund manager is the lead investor seeking to build a sports arena south of Safeco Field to lure an NBA basketball team back to Seattle, according to two sources briefed on the effort._________________________
Part II: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1094241
Part I: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=908743
Nickname Thread: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1096759
Wasn't most of this stuff already posted by you in the previous threads? And you are copying and posting it again here? Nice job!
I like that he is doing that, it's the first post, and any new person would find it useful.
Anyways, gooden no offense is a moron in regards to knowing about the issues,
her concerns about the
impact of all three sports
On traffic. I mean really?
As nice as those Metro Area and Market Size lists are, they reveal one other thing: Houston is ahead of Seattle on BOTH lists.
We should be next in line.
Jawanda needs to include turk's stats about rec leagues, indoor rinks, and minor league fan support into first post
Jawanda Puck: the kdb209 of the Seattle BOH threads.
Good job, it'll be a primer for those coming into the threads for the first time - and a good reference point for any discussions.
I love the innovative idea of taxing other players coming into town. Look a bucket of free money ...
Sorry, if it isn't viable on its own it shouldn't proceed. All these "innovative" ways of finding tax dollars are the wrong approach; fzcking governments need to find ways to cut spending, not "innovative" ways to steal more of my dollars ...
Either way, I would love to see the NHL in Seattle. I have 4 seasons tickets to the Canucks I can't afford already.
Having VCR, seattle, SJ, LA, Ana, Cal, Col and Edm as a division would be fantastic.
Just read some of the info about Seattle being awarded a NHL Franchise in 1974. Dang, I wish it would have happened back then!
For it to get a 9-0 in favor a lot of concessions will have to be made with Hansen agreeing to a lot of things, all of the concerns will have to be addressed etc. Hansen could even decide to drop out and nothing happens. This can not be rushed. Once this proposal goes to City Hall. It could be another month or so before a vote happens or a vote could happen quickly and it fails. We just don't know where the end of the tunnel will be.
I'm moving on as if no arena in Seattle or no arena in Bellevue to not get my self disappointed.
And where exactly is the interest coming from in Houston, exactly? There hasn't been any real interest shown by anyone in Houston, while Quebec and Seattle are racing like hell trying to get stuff put together to get a team. I'm not sure how Houston should be next in line without an interested owner.
If you have fans other teams that lived in those areas..they might make the commute to see their teams play. Same thing for people who live in BC (Canuck fans coming down to watch their team play the Seattle Steelhead etc).
I agree, great set of first posts for the thread. I've been following the saga very closely and I still found it very interesting to read through everything again, and it is certainly a great way for newcomers to get caught up.
Speaking as someone who's been living in Western Montana for 5 years now...most people here identify with Seattle as their favorite 'big' city, and the Seattle teams all have a decent share of the fan base (from my experience the Seahawks are behind only the Steelers and Packers in NFL fans, the Mariners probably tops in baseball, and the Sonics were tied with the Blazers in NBA...though this state really couldn't care less about that sport in general). Putting a NHL team in Seattle would probably make them the most popular team in the league here with no real question...hockey is really only starting to build a footprint of the state (thanks in large part to the American West Hockey League and Northern Pacific Hockey League, both Tier III junior leagues (the current Seattle Totems are in this league), which have 8 teams in the state between them), but without any teams in the northwest the interest hasn't grown beyond the small-time junior hockey scene outside of transplants. There's a decent amount of Penguins and Red Wings fans here, as there's a lot of transplants here (me being one myself), and I know a lot of those fans would instantly grab onto Seattle as a secondary team.
The northwest is a barren market...the vast majority of the money that would be going into the team would be from the Seattle area, but they would become the northwest's team.
I mean did anyone expect there not to be any group that is against the arena?
As for sheets of ice to play hockey in the metro area:13
Everett - 2 (including Comcast Arena)
Lynnwood - 1
Mountlake Terrace - 1
Shoreline - 2
Kirkland - 1
Renton - 2
Kent - 2 (including Showare Center)
Tacoma - 1
Spanaway - 1
I also don't think you can remove the Everett Comcast Arena from the temporary home venue. It is by far the best arena for hockey in the area and hold 8-9k. I do not know if there can be any expansion or standing room seats added but it's a beauty.
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