Seattle is going to have a National Basketball Association team and a National Hockey League franchise sooner than lately. The market is just too good to ignore from two standpoints. Television and more importantly, the corporate market. The only thing needed is an arena and with a Mayor election on tap and “Bring The Sonics Back” as part of the discussion there appears to be government support.
Then there is this from the Commissioner of the NBA Adam Silver. “I don’t want to put a precise timeline on it, but it’s inevitable at some point we’ll start looking at growth of franchises. That’s always been the case in this league, and Seattle will no doubt be on a short list of cities we’ll look at.”
Silver cannot put a precise timeline on it because the arena problem remains. It was the lack of a suitable arena in 2008 which Oklahoma businessman Clayton Bennett claimed as the reason he moved his Seattle SuperSonics NBA franchise to Oklahoma City.
Chris Hansen has been trying to build an NBA style arena near the city’s two sports facilities, the Mariners baseball park and the Seahawks football stadium, a site that isn’t very far from homeless encampments. The Oak View group is attempting to renovation the old arena where the 1962 World’s Fair was held near Space Needle.
Oak View wants a National Hockey League team inside a renovated arena and would welcome a basketball team. Hansen seems solely be intent on getting an NBA team with the NHL as an afterthought. What may be a prime mover in the arena saga is what do the people who are major players in the corporate community think is the right fit. Seattle’s corporate community has the wherewithal to support two teams. Once the arena issue is solved, the Sonics will be back and maybe even the Seattle Metropolitans in the NHL.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.