NHL expansion – four teams added by 2017, Quebec City, Toronto, Seattle, and Las Vegas $1.4b in expansion fees
— Howard Bloom (@SportsBizNews) August 27, 2014
It may be too soon to pull on your Seattle Metropolitans jersey, but sports business journalist Howard Bloom says that the NHL is planning to expand by 2017, with four new teams slated for Las Vegas, Quebec, Toronto, and yes, Seattle. All that’s missing here is an owner and an arena (and an actual plan to expand, says NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who denies Bloom’s report), but that can’t stop local hockey fans from dreaming.
Bloom told Q13 that Seattle’s rich junior hockey tradition and geographic proximity to Canadian markets makes it an ideal expansion city. No doubt the lack of winter sport competition from the NBA wouldn’t hurt either as a new team worked to win fans’ hearts and wallets.
So Bloom thinks Seattle should strongly consider revising the Memorandum of Understanding on the Sodo arena deal, to allow for construction with an NHL team first.
“Look, it’s pretty simple Seattle. If you want to have a major winter sport in your market, the NHL is knocking on your door then you’re going to entertain the people that are coming to you.”
Yeah, except it’s not that simple. The politics have gotten more complicated since former mayor Mike McGinn’s defeat, and there’s no indication that would-be new Sonics owner Chris Hansen has any interest in building an arena without an NBA team in his pocket. Still recovering from our abusive relationship with the NBA, if there’s any big city politically primed to tell the NHL to fuck off, it’s Seattle.
Which is a shame. Because I was really looking forward to pulling on that Seattle Metropolitans jersey.