Report: Developer won't alter Seattle NBA, NHL arena agreement

Thursday February 19th, 2015

Investor Chris Hansen is not "eager" to alter a agreement that could delay the establishment of an NHL team in Seattle, according to a report from

The memorandum of understanding - which is held between Hansen, the city and King County - requires an NBA franchise be brought to Seattle first in order to access $200 million worth of funding for a new downtown Seattle arena

The NHL, however, has reportedly shown greater interest in bringing a team to the area than the NBA. 

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said last month that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman indicated that he would like to put a team in Seattle. Murray also said NBA commissioner Adam Silver was "very positive about Seattle" but said the NBA is neither expanding nor intent on relocating the team.

From the report:

When [Murray] ran for mayor, he made a commitment that he would follow through on the downtown arena [memorandum of understanding] that Hansen had negotiated. Now it's becoming clear -- [the memorandum of understanding] in its current form could end up being the roadblock to an NHL team coming to downtown Seattle.

[The memorandum of understanding] requires an NBA team first to tap into $200 million in funding and, according to multiple sources, Hansen isn't eager to alter it in the interest of bringing hockey to town first. When contacted for this story, a representative for Hansen said he was out of the country.

Seattle has never had an NHL franchise. The city's NBA franchise, the SuperSonics, moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. 

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