Victor Coleman, a prospective owner of a Seattle NHL franchise, will not submit an official bid for an expansion club in the city before Monday’s league deadline, according to KING-TV in Seattle.
Phase one of the NHL’s expansion process is set to officially end July 20 and requires a down payment of $10 million along with a formal application for a team. The deadline and high cost required with a formal expansion application was thought to limit the number of cities who were able to make a formal bid. Seattle, Quebec City, Milwaukee and Las Vegas have each been mentioned as contenders for NHL franchises.
Seattle has struggled in recent months to secure a potential new arena site for both a NBA and NHL team. City leaders are now beginning to focus on securing a professional hockey franchise in light of no available NBA franchise being available and the league being uninterested in expansion.
Coleman still has a strong desire to bring an NHL team to Seattle’s “SoDo” stadium district, the report said, where the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and NHL’s Seattle Mariners play.
In April, developers filed a permit to build an arena in Tukwila, Wash., a Seattle suburb. On June 30, The Seattle Times reported that a Connecticut-based investment banker, Ray Bartoszek, would formally apply to secure an NHL team in Tukwila.
It is unclear if Bartoszek plans to file a formal application before Monday’s deadline.
Chris Hansen, a developer who lead the city’s push to re-acquire an NBA franchise in 2012, proposed a shared NBA/NHL arena plan for the city that was approved by the Seattle City Council and the King County Council. That arena, which would have required significant public funding, would only receive taxpayer dollars toward its construction if an NBA team was secured to play in it.
The city’s former NBA team, the SuperSonics, relocated after the 2007–2008 season to Oklahoma City.