After 5 long years of being a “tag along” on the SoDo arena plans, local NHL fans have something to rejoice over. The NHL Board of Governors’ meeting was occurring this week and Seattle’s new MOU with OVG was an inevitable topic. The board discussed Seattle’s new arena plans and welcomed an application, with a $650 million expansion fee. Fortunately, OVG has some fairly deep pocketed friends who have been interested in owning a NHL team.
— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) December 8, 2017
The local reaction was enthusiastic (even if old-school NHL gear was bright enough fans could still make out players through a dense fog and cataracts).
Here’s @MayorJenny reacting to today’s news out of the NHL, as Seattle takes a big step forward in its efforts to bring a professional hockey team to this city. We’ve got team coverage at 11 on @KING5Seattle. https://t.co/Dturzw1Gye pic.twitter.com/IYKh3vCbhs
— Heather Graf (@HeatherGrafK5) December 8, 2017
The NHL is so confident in the bid the group authorized a season ticket drive similar to what happened in Las Vegas. Unlike prior non-league-sanctioned ticket waiting lists concerning the NBA’s Kings, the Las Vegas NHL ticket drive involved a deposit.
All of this bodes well for locking in a good deal on a new arena in town and having a professional sport to occupy it soon. The NBA is still elusive, but at least one team will reduce the number of people intent on public pillory of Leiweke.
OVG CEO Tim Leiweke going as far as asking Seattle to hold him accountable.
“If we don’t have a franchise a year from now, they should take me and put me on top of that arena and while they start tearing that arena down, they should let me dive into the middle of the rubble because I haven’t done my job,” said Leiweke this week.
Added below the break are roundtable interviews put out by Sonics Rising with John Barr, Chris Daniels, and Brian Robinson as well as a “mega fan meeting” with OVG’s Leiweke held after Mayor Durkan signed the MOU.
The Sonics Rising Sin Bin podcast had many topics, including discussing the Tim Leiweke sit-down interview that occurred in the day prior to the NHL Board’s invitation to submit an expansion application. Sitting down with sports fans and remaining calm ahead of the NHL meeting while Tim’s home was in a fire-zone in LA certainly shows his dedication to reaching out to the local community. Congratulations to John Barr of NHL to Seattle on seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Sonics Rising team’s meeting with OVG CEO Tim Leiweke is slowly trickling out, part 1 is inserted below. His Wednesday imploring the sports fans in town to sit down and enjoy the ride that’s taking off was very passionate. He also spoke directly to people skeptical of OVG’s desire for seeking an NBA team vs an “all concert” venue.
Overall, I’m pleased that the city has found an arena offer that doesn’t involve public bonds and is more self-funding than what McGinn and Constantine initially offered the city in 2012. Additionally, it solves the problem our local politicians were going to have with the KeyArena space, which has been waiting on a direction and investment for 5 years, if not longer.