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01-31-2012, 11:40 AM
Lost Art of Dynasty
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Metro Seattle: NHL, NBA and Arena - Part II

"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.

A Dec. 13 agenda for a meeting between the parties shows they were talking about details such as a "Review of Basic Deal Structure," "Financing Issues," including "City Debt Capacity," and "Security for Public Financing."

The documents, released Friday to The Seattle Times under a public-disclosure request, also provide the first glimpse of how the largely unknown hedge-fund manager, 44-year-old Seattle native Christopher Hansen, approached the city about his desire to buy an NBA team and build an arena south of Safeco Field.

In an initial email laying out his vision, Hansen told city officials an arena could be built with minimal impact on taxpayers.

"Thanks for spending the time today guys," Hansen wrote in a June 16 email to Julie McCoy, chief of staff to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and Ethan Raup, the mayor's director of policy and operations.

"I really appreciate it and look forward to making this happen in Seattle," wrote Hansen, a multimillionaire who built a fortune in the private investment world. "I genuinely mean that and am confident that with a little effort and creativity we can find a solution that meets our needs and the City's /State's desire to get a team back to Seattle without a large public outlay."

Hansen offered to provide information on "recent municipal arena deals that have been put together and some of the direct and indirect contributions that the city can make that don't require incremental taxes or direct public funding."

Those issues were on the table at the key Dec. 13 meeting, which was attended by McCoy and Raup and set up by Carl Hirsh, a New Jersey arena consultant hired by the city in July.

It was held at the law offices of Foster Pepper, one of Seattle's prominent law firms. An attorney with the firm, Hugh Spitzer, had been hired by the city in September to provide advice on selling construction bonds.


Hansen has acquired property south of Safeco Field's parking garage, between South Massachusetts and South Holgate streets east of First Avenue South, records show. While sources have previously said at least one business owner has declined to sell, the issue of the city using its power of eminent domain to acquire the land is no longer a concern of Hansen's group, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said during a recent interview with The Times editorial board. Holmes did not elaborate, but his comments suggest Hansen's representatives have reached some sort of agreements.


Although the documents don't mention how Seattle would obtain a team, they show the city has been following developments in Sacramento, which is under a March 1 deadline to come up with a viable proposal to build an arena for the Sacramento Kings. In September, Hirsh emailed a copy of an Associated Press story to Raup that outlined the Sacramento situation. If Sacramento fails, the Kings could be playing in Seattle next fall if the city and Hansen reach an agreement, according to a Seattle City Hall source who has been briefed on the matter.

In addition, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman has expressed a strong interest in placing a team in Seattle, leading to widespread speculation that the financially struggling Phoenix Coyotes could be moved here.

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.

Our relationship with the people of Quebec are still very good and their application is not worse than it was. But I think the passion with which you follow the case and the interest for the return of the League in Quebec gave the impression that things were more advanced than they actually are."

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.

But on the West Coast, the NHL is not a consolation prize for the NBA. "This is a very attractive market, there is a beautiful story of hockey here. We have many links to and rivalry with Vancouver. And we have an incredible number of billionaires in the region who are willing to support professional teams," says the businessman, who now devotes much of his energy to drive this. "The desire of the business community is to have two sports: basketball and hockey. The two go together."

"I am aware of the involvement of several investors. This is very serious," says Craig Kinzer, a well known property developer in the region and former president of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. "For our investors, it is natural to aim for the NBA and the NHL... To be profitable here, it takes all three (NBA, NHL and arena)." Investors feel in recent months that all of these conditions could be met shortly, the businessman concludes.

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.

Hirsh said many pieces remain to be put together to make a new arena work in Seattle. And he reiterated what the mayor and council members have said, that there is no firm proposal. But he said the developer is very motivated (Chris Hansen).

"Do I think it will be easy? No. Do I think we can put together a deal? Yes."

A deal also might help resurrect the political fortunes of McGinn, who in August lost the fight over the waterfront tunnel, which he stridently opposed, and suffered defeat of a proposed $60 vehicle-license fee, which he favored.

Christian Sinderman, a political consultant, said that while the number of people who want professional basketball returned to Seattle is high, the number who think it's essential is low.

Building a new arena and bringing a team back "is not a political game-changer," Sinderman said.

But he did acknowledge that if an arena got built under terms favorable to the city, "It could show that this mayor is capable of cutting a deal and delivering."

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.”

“We know Don Levin. A good man and a good hockey owner,” wrote NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly in an email Wednesday. But, he added, “We have had no recent discussions or communications with him.”

Daly also denied that the league had any further discussions with a Seattle ownership group. Multiple sources say there is one other investor or group, besides Levin, interested in bringing the NHL to the Seattle-area.

Levin said he can’t build the arena, but would like to partner with an NBA ownership group to fill a new facility. He denied recent suggestions that he’d been lobbying or working with an NBA group to make that happen.

He also said he hasn’t been contacted by a San Francisco-based hedge fund, Valiant Partners (Chris Hansen), about the fund's recent purchase of three acres south of Safeco Field. Valiant bought the land from a Seattle businessman for $21.6 million, almost $3 million more than the land's assessed value. The deal for the parcel closed on December 6th. The land is located just south of the Safeco Field parking garage. The seller has declined comment on the deal.

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.

Now, state Rep. Mike Hope (R, Lake Stevens) is trying a different approach. The idea is to charge NBA basketball and NHL hockey a license fee each time a team plays in the potential new arena. The money would be used as collateral to sell $62 million worth of bonds to help pay for a new arena in the Seattle area.

Rep. Hope said he believes the proposal will get bipartisan support because no taxpayer money is involved. "When you're looking at this, it's not going to affect a single person in Washington state," Hope said. "The people who are going to pay for this are the athletes themselves." He said the plan is similar to what other states like Tennessee and Ohio have done to help finance new arenas.

He's drafting legislation now and believes there will be a hearing in the next few weeks. The $62 million the plan is expected to raise is just a fraction of what a new arena would cost, but for supporters, every bit helps.

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.

Christopher Hansen, 43, who has roots in Seattle and now heads Valiant Capital Management LLC, in San Francisco, is working with an investor group whose proposal has yet to be publicly unveiled.

Hansen, described by one source as a multimillionaire, could not be reached for comment Friday. He previously lived in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood, public records show.

Hansen is working with a Bellevue man who would like to bring an NHL professional hockey team to Seattle to play in the arena, according to the source, who did not know the name of the Eastside participant. Both men understand they need each other to make the proposal work, the source said.

Among those involved in the Sodo plan is Wally Walker, the former Seattle Sonics player and team executive, sources said. Walker was a minority owner of the Sonics, serving as the team's president and general manager from 1994 until the team was sold to Clay Bennett in 2006. Bennett moved the team to Oklahoma City after failing to secure a new arena in Seattle and reaching a financial settlement with the city of Seattle. Bennett said KeyArena, where the Sonics played, lacked the amenities required to support an NBA franchise.

If built, the arena would add a third professional sports facility in the Sodo area, joining Safeco, home of the Seattle Mariners, and CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC.


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

Tacoma Dome
(renovation discussed)


Key Arena


Metro Seattle Market

RankStatistical Area2010 Pop2000 PopChangeNHLNBANFLMLBMLSArea Type
1New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA22,085,64921,361,7973.39%32221CSA
2Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA CSA17,877,00616,373,6459.18%22 22CSA
3Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI CSA9,804,8459,312,2555.29%11121CSA
4Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV CSA8,572,9717,572,64713.21%11221CSA
5Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-RI-NH CSA7,559,0607,298,6953.57%11111CSA
6San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA CSA7,468,3907,092,5965.30%11221CSA
7Dallas-Fort Worth, TX CSA6,731,3175,487,95622.66%11111CSA
8Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD CSA6,533,6836,207,2235.26%11111CSA
9Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX CSA6,051,3634,815,12225.67% 1111CSA
10Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL CSA5,618,4314,548,34423.53% 111 CSA
11Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA5,564,6355,007,56411.12%1111 MSA
12Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI CSA5,218,8525,357,538−2.59%1111 CSA
13Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA CSA4,199,3123,707,14413.28%  111CSA
14Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ MSA4,192,8873,251,87628.94%1111 MSA
15Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, MN-WI CSA3,615,9023,271,88810.51%1111 CSA
16San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA3,095,3132,813,83310.00%  11 MSA
17Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO CSA3,090,8742,629,98017.52%11111CSA
18Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, OH CSA2,881,9372,945,831−2.17% 111 CSA
19St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL CSA2,878,2552,754,3284.50%1 11 CSA
20Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach, FL CSA2,818,1202,191,08128.62% 1   CSA
21Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA2,783,2432,395,99716.16%1 11 MSA
22Sacramento–Arden Arcade–Yuba City, CA-NV CSA2,461,7802,069,29818.97% 1   CSA
23Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA CSA2,447,3932,525,730−3.10%1 11 CSA
24Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury, NC-SC CSA2,402,6231,897,03426.65% 11  CSA
25Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA MSA2,226,0091,927,88115.46% 1  1MSA
26Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN CSA2,172,1912,050,1755.95%  11 CSA
27San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX MSA2,142,5081,711,70325.17% 1   MSA
28Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS CSA2,104,8531,901,07010.72%  111CSA
29Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, IN CSA2,080,7821,843,58812.87% 11  CSA
30Columbus-Marion-Chillicothe, OH CSA2,071,0521,835,18912.85%1   1CSA
31Las Vegas-Paradise-Pahrump, NV CSA1,995,2151,408,25041.68%     CSA
32Austin-Round Rock-Marble Falls, TX CSA1,759,0391,283,91037.01%     CSA
33Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI CSA1,751,3161,689,5723.65% 111 CSA
34Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC CSA1,749,5251,314,58933.09%1    CSA
35Salt Lake City-Ogden-Clearfield, UT CSA1,744,8861,469,47418.74% 1  1CSA
36Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA1,671,6831,576,3706.05%     MSA
37Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Columbia, TN CSA1,670,8901,381,28720.97%1 1  CSA
38Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point, NC CSA1,589,2001,414,65612.34%     CSA
39Louisville/Jefferson County–Elizabethtown–Scottsburg, KY-IN CSA1,427,4831,292,48210.45%     CSA
40Jacksonville, FL MSA1,345,5961,122,75019.85%  1  MSA
41Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic, CT CSA1,330,8091,257,7095.81%     CSA
42Oklahoma City-Shawnee, OK CSA1,322,4291,160,94213.91% 1   CSA
43Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, MI CSA1,321,5571,254,6615.33%     CSA
44Memphis, TN-MS-AR MSA1,316,1001,205,2049.20% 1   MSA
45Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC CSA1,266,9951,128,10412.31%     CSA
46Richmond, VA MSA1,258,2511,096,95714.70%     MSA
47Buffalo-Niagara-Cattaraugus, NY CSA1,215,8261,254,066−3.05%1 1  CSA
48New Orleans-Metairie-Bogalusa, LA CSA1,214,9321,360,436−10.70% 11  CSA
49Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, AL CSA1,208,4531,129,7216.97%     CSA
50Albany-Schenectady-Amsterdam, NY CSA1,168,4851,118,0954.51%     CSA

U.S. Local TV Market Rankings
Ranked by Number of TV Households per Designated Market Area (DMA)
As Of August 30, 2011

RankDesignated Market Area (DMA)# of TV Households
1New York7,387,810
2Los Angeles5,569,780
5Dallas-Ft. Worth2,571,310
6San Francisco - Oakland - San Jose2,506,510
7Boston (Manchester)2,379,690
8Washington, DC2,360,180
14Tampa - St. Petersburg1,788,240
15Minneapolis - St.Paul1,721,940
19Orlando-Daytona Beach1,465,460
22Portland, OR1,190,010
28San Diego1,077,600
30Hartford - New Haven1,006,280
31Kansas City939,740
32Columbus, OH932,680
33Salt Lake City927,540
36San Antonio880,690
38West Palm Beach788,020
40Las Vegas737,300
42Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo722,150
43Norfolk - Portsmouth - Newport News718,750
44Oklahoma City712,630
45Albuquerque - Santa Fe710,050
46Greensboro - High Point691,200

Seattle to Vancouver


Current Seattle Area Hockey Teams

WHL US Division
Seattle ThunderbirdsKent, Washington, United StatesShoWare CenterMetro Seattle
Everett SilvertipsEverett, Washington, United StatesComcast Arena at EverettMetro Seattle
Spokane ChiefsSpokane, Washington, United StatesSpokane Veterans Memorial ArenaEastern WA State
Tri-City AmericansKennewick, Washington, United StatesToyota CenterEastern WA State
Portland WinterhawksPortland, Oregon, United StatesMemorial Coliseum & Rose GardenMetro Portland


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


Old Thread:
Nickname Thread:

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