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p4277

Expansion Rumor?

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"Karmanos didn't want to be here and wanted to move the team to Carolina."

 

Actually, Karmanos wanted to move to Columbus, but there was no suitable facility to use while the new arena was being built. He then went on a multi-city tour looking for a place to move, making stops in Portland, Houston, and finally Raleigh. North Carolina was not high on his list, but with a new arena being built, and a big arena in Greensboro that could be used temporarily, it became the best option available. It was a shame**l, agonizing procedure that Whaler fans endured, watching the team look around for a place to play like a bunch of shiftless hobos. Our only consolation is that PK continues to lose millions of dollars in the team's new home.

 

"They so easily approved a move of the Whalers, but it seems like they're ****bent on keeping a team as dismal as the Coyotes in Phoenix, a place where they clearly will never be success**l."

 

Yup, and the Thrashers were allowed to leave Atlanta with no objection from the league either. Why? I think it's because the league pressured the Coyotes and Glendale to build the expensive new arena for the team, and it would look pretty bad if they left the city with a state-of-the-art white elephant. In Hartford, the team moving saved the city and state millions of dollars that would have been spent to build a new arena to keep the team. In Atlanta, the arena owners wanted the hockey team out of the building. If they abandon Glendale, they're afraid they would never get another publicly **nded arena built. They may be right about that.

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"If they abandon Glendale, they're afraid they would never get another publicly **nded arena built. They may be right about that."

 

Since the city isn't putting up any more money (they are subsidizing about $26 million/year) to cover the NHL's losses for running the team now)...it's pretty much a given they'll be abandoning Glendale when this season is over.

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"Since the city isn't putting up any more money (they are subsidizing about $26 million/year) to cover the NHL's losses for running the team now)...it's pretty much a given they'll be abandoning Glendale when this season is over."

 

That's really the big question right now. The NHL really wants the team to stay in Glendale, most likely for the reason I stated above. The city, (meaning the taxpayers), are not only subsidizing the teams losses over the past few years, but they are paying off the hundreds of millions of dollars that it took to build the arena. Other potential NHL cities will watch what happens in Arizona, and if that arena goes dark, no one will want to spend public money on another NHL building.

 

The ideal outcome for the NHL is to find a new owner who will keep the team in Glendale, then sell two expansion franchises to Quebec City and Markham. But with some of the lowest ticket prices in the league, and a pretty decent team, the Coyotes are still not drawing well. Even if they sold out at these prices, they would lose money. And with so many empty seats, they can't raise prices, so convincing a potential buyer to keep the team where it is will be a hard sell.

 

Bottom line is the taxpayers in Arizona are getting screwed, and the league is taking a beating as well. I don't think there is any good way out of this situation.

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I agree with you, p4277. One thing though...Cities never learn. Kansas City built a brand new facility and has no primary tenant to play in it. Look at the Columbus situation. Instead of one building for the Heat and Panthers to share, they built two in South Florida. And so on. Quebec City constantly gets mentioned as a landing spot for the NHL...but they also have no arena as yet, and even if it gets built, there is nothing written in stone that the league will move there.

 

I guess my point is this...there will always be some city out there that looks at Glendale...and Kansas City...and Miami...and say "****, we're better than all of them, our deal will be different"...and uses the public money to **nd a new arena.

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"Cities never learn."

 

The difference in Glendale is that the arena was built specifically for the Coyotes at their, (and the league's), insistence. That may also be true in Columbus, but KC was not promised a team for it's new arena. In Raleigh, the arena was being built for NC State basketball anyway, it just needed to be made into a dual-purpose facility, which the team paid to do. Not sure about the situation in south Florida, although I agree that two separate arenas for the Heat and Panthers is silly.

 

Gary Bettman has come out publicly to say that if Quebec City and Markham build new arenas, it does not guarantee that an NHL team will be placed there. So he is learning form the debacle in the desert. If he can learn, city governments can learn also, particularly in tough economic times.

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Just back from an extended Christmas vacation break. While making merry with the relatives, I was informed by my brother-in-law - a Gig Harbor, Washington resident and Seattle area lawyer - that a push to bring NBA and NHL franchises to a new arena in Seattle is once again the topic of much discussion in "The Emerald City".

 

My curiosity piqued, I ran a few searches of Seattle area newspaper content for the past month and - sure enough - there seems to be some action taking place,

 

Apparently, word in Seattle is that a multimillionaire San Francisco-based hedge-**nd manager by the name of Christopher Hansen is working with an as-yet-unidentified Bellevue, Washington-based partner on building a state-of-the-art arena on land located just South of Safeco Field. Additionally, other investors are involved in the group. Once the arena is built, Hansen wants to acquire an NBA franchise to play in the facility, while the Bellevue man is focused on bringing an NHL team to the structure. Both men are reportedly of the opinion that in order for the arena to be financially viable it would have to offer both professional basketball and hockey - along with ancillary events like concerts - to the ticket-buying public.

 

(cont.)

Edited by Guest

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WSA LLC, a limited liability corporation affiliated with Hansen and his Valiant Capital Management firm, paid $21.6-million in December to purchase a warehouse situated on three acres of property in the aforementioned SoDo neighborhood. Public records apparently indicate that WSA's agent for the purchase was a company by the name of Vipond Group. Vipond Group has apparently recently contacted other land-owners in the neighborhood about buying their property, presumably on behalf of Hansen and his partners in the proposed arena development.

 

Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn has been working with Hansen, his Bellevue-based partner, and the remainder of the investor group for the past few months, exploring how the city can *****ist with arena development efforts. As part of said efforts, sources say that the mayor has hired an arena consultant - and, perhaps more importantly, has not ruled out helping with financing.

 

Only time will tell if Seattle proves to be a serious player in the NHL relocation/expansion derby. That said, I thought I'd share what I'd heard.

 

I can't even escape NHL relocation/expansion speculation on a vacation! :P

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David Stern has said on more than one occasion that a new arena in Seattle would pretty much guarantee a return of the NBA to the Emerald City, either through expansion or a team moving (Sacramento?)

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