Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

Seattle has the green light, but a certain Canadian city has once again been left waiting at a stop sign.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday that the league is only looking at Seattle for potential expansion, meaning Quebec City is not a possibility this time around, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli.

Bettman said he doesn’t know where this leaves Quebec City going forward, per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, and added that the former NHL city is still on the league’s radar, according to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.

Quebec City submitted an expansion application in June 2016, but the NHL deferred it and chose Las Vegas as the only new franchise destination.

Quebecor, a local media company, oversaw the construction of the $370-million Videotron Centre, which opened in fall 2015.

The NHL’s Nordiques left Quebec City for Denver and became the Avalanche in 1995.

Advertisements

Now that major renovations to Seattle’s KeyArena have been approved, is the city prepared for the return of an NBA franchise?

Seattle city council recently voted 7-1 in favor of a proposal for a $600-million redevelopment of KeyArena, in the hopes of attracting another major sports franchise. It’s a step in the right direction in the process for the NBA to bring basketball back to Seattle.

Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke is heavily invested in the city, understanding that the talk of a Seattle-based franchise has been a hot topic since the NBA left Seattle for Oklahoma City. Leiweke has been around sports franchises for a long time and has a realistic, but optimistic, outlook on the matter.

“I’ve been through this,” Leiweke told reporters, according to Yahoo Sports Chris Mannix. “I’ve seen teams ripped out of communities. It’s not a pretty thing to go through. I feel the pain, and we’ve been dealing with Sonics Rising and the Sonic community, and we understand. Lots of people have preferences about the NHL compared to the NBA. Whichever one comes first, if we do a great job with them, the other one will come.”

Leiweke uttering “the other one will come” may give a feeling of hope for basketball fans in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan went as far as to tease Seattleite’s during the agreement signing, wearing a Seattle SuperSonics T-shirt under her blazer.

With the NHL carrying 31 franchises and aiming for an even number, it’s likely they’ll get first dibs. But it’s clear Leiweke won’t stop there.

The NHL Board of Governors has agreed to consider an application for an NHL expansion franchise in Seattle, commissioner Gary Bettman said in a press conference Thursday, according to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.

Bettman said the expansion fee would be $650 million, which is $150 million more than Las Vegas paid.

The NHL will allow a potential ownership group, led by billionaire David Bonderman and legendary film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer, to file an application and then conduct a season-ticket drive, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

While this is similar to the Golden Knights’ beginnings, it doesn’t guarantee a team will arrive in the Pacific Northwest.

If a team was indeed brought to Seattle, it would be looking at the 2020-21 season to begin play, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

nba-logo-on-wood

Fourteen of the NBA’s 30 franchises lost money last season before receiving revenue-sharing cash from the league, and nine of those teams still ended up in the red after that, according to confidential financial records obtained by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe.

The report appears to confirm suspicions that despite record income from national television contracts, some teams are having trouble turning a profit – and not just in small markets.

The nine franchises to reportedly come out in the red, by the league’s accounting, after revenue sharing are: the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards.

The Spurs and Cavaliers may raise eyebrows given their combined runs of success, but it was already widely reported the Cavs lost $40 million during their 2015-16 championship season – due in part to a $54-million luxury tax bill.

At the end of the day, small cities such as Memphis and Milwaukee cannot compare to markets like Los Angeles. However, Brooklyn is part of New York City, and Washington and Atlanta rank as the nation’s seventh- and 10th-largest media markets, respectively.

At least one owner brought up the idea of expansion as a way to increase team income, the report states. An expansion fee – likely over $1 billion per team – would be divvied equally among NBA owners and not subject to the 50-50 basketball-related income split with players under the collective bargaining agreement.

Commissioner Adam Silver is on record as saying expansion is not a priority, although markets such as Seattle may be soon waiting in the wings for a new team. Relocating less profitable franchises is another option, something a handful of richer owners have suggested, according to Windhorst and Lowe.

The chasm between the NBA’s most profitable and weaker franchises will be discussed at the league’s next Board of Governors meeting at the end of September, sources told ESPN.

nasc_072017-0

Seattle would like to house a NHL club.

Oak View Group reached an agreement with Seattle mayor Ed Murray on Tuesday to privately fund the construction of a $600-million arena at the Seattle Center.

The building would be a prime location for a NHL franchise, and the league’s deputy commissioner said that appears to be part of the group’s plan.

“The group has confirmed having a strong interest in owning and operating an NHL franchise,” Bill Daly said, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. “We will be continuing to monitor the situation.”

Oak View Group leader Tim Leiweke says billionaire David Bonderman – a potential NHL owner – has put money into the building, according to KING 5’s Chris Daniels.

Leiweke is a former president and CEO of both Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, whose holdings include three major sports franchises, and Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Los Angeles Kings as well as several other sports teams and arenas.

In November, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told a conference in Toronto that the NHL would not focus on Seattle until the city “actually build(s) a building.”

seattle-sonics

Seattle could someday have an NBA team again.

In a Players’ Tribune interview with Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum last week, commissioner Adam Silver said it’s possible the league will bring a franchise back to the city, but he doesn’t know when.

“I think it’s just a question of when the right time is to seriously start thinking about expansion,” said Silver.

“I don’t want to put a precise timeline on it, but it’s inevitable at some point that we’ll start looking at the 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,” he added.

The Seattle SuperSonics entered the league in 1967-68 and captured an NBA championship in 1979. The club relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008 and became the Thunder.

Several Sonics greats have been strong proponents of the city regaining a team. Gary Payton said last year that Seattle “deserves” an NBA team and he’d be interested in becoming an owner, while Ray Allen echoed those sentiments in May.

“I still can’t believe that there is no basketball in Seattle,” he wrote in a post on Instagram. “This city is too great not to have a hoops squad. Come on everybody we need to rally and bring the NBA back to Seattle.”

 109488251_1200x540
 

Seattle hockey fans shouldn’t hold their breath.

Despite the city beginning negotiations for a possible renovation of KeyArena, there is no guarantee the NHL will soon set up shop in Seattle.

“We haven’t made any commitments to Seattle,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told NHL Network Radio on Wednesday. “We’re not making any commitments to expand. We’re not planning on moving anybody.”

Seattle has long been rumored as a future destination for the NHL. However, due in part to no NHL-ready arena in the city, Seattle did not submit a bid during the 2015 expansion process. The NHL received proposals from Las Vegas and Quebec City, with Las Vegas chosen to begin play next season.

Still, the commissioner didn’t rule out of the possibility of the NHL looking at Seattle in the years to come.

“If (Seattle) sorts out the building arrangement and somebody actually puts a shovel in the ground, my guess is there will be people knocking on our door saying, ‘We’d like to have a team play in that building,'” Bettman said. “If and when all that happens, then we’ll focus on it, and decide if we have any interest in expanding and if we have any interest in expanding to Seattle.

“Beyond that, there is no reason for anyone to think a team is imminent right now in Seattle.”

In February, the Arizona Coyotes denied a report the team explored the possibility of relocation to Seattle. The NHL, which held ownership of the Coyotes for a four-year period beginning in 2009, has remained steadfast about the market and franchise, much as it did with the Nashville Predators.

In 2007, former Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie attempted to gain control of the Predators and relocate the team to Hamilton, Ontario before a group of local business owners stepped forward to keep the team in Tennessee. Now, 10 years later and the Predators are two wins away from capturing the Stanley Cup, marking both of their victories in the Finals before packed and enthusiastic crowds at Bridgestone Arena.

“Sometimes, the commentary around our franchises is a little too frenetic when it comes to the state of a franchise,” Bettman added. “If you think about Tampa before (owner) Jeff Vinik purchased it, Pittsburgh before Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux stepped … the fact is, our teams are in great markets, but as franchises, as businesses, as hockey teams, you sometimes go through difficult periods.

“It doesn’t mean the market isn’t a good hockey market or won’t support the team. There are sometimes other factors at play, and our goal is always to work through those issues and give the great, loyal fans that have supported our team in a particular place an opportunity to make it work for them.”

Should the NHL add its 32nd team to Seattle, local hockey fans will have a little hockey history on their side. While the city has never iced an NHL team, it is home to the WHL’s Thunderbirds. Furthermore, the Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, doing so in 1917.