This really raises a lot of questions.
Why isn’t the NHL working in Phoenix? What’s different about Seattle that makes anyone think the NHL would work better here than it does in Phoenix?
Why didn’t sharing an arena with an NBA team and an NHL team work in Vancouver, B.C.? What makes anyone think it would work better in Seattle than it did in Vancouver?
Why hasn’t Paul Allen ever sought an NHL team to share his arena with his Portland Trailblazers in Portland? If having both NBA and NHL teams in the same arena is such a good idea, why isn’t Paul Allen trying to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Portland?
Why is it that about 2/3 of all NHL teams have their own arena which they do NOT share with an NBA team? If sharing an arena between NBA and NHL teams is such a good arrangement, how come only about 1/3 of NHL teams are doing that?
Why isn’t hockey working in Phoenix? – I think there are more smaller answers than one big one. The Lease deal for parking and arena were very expensive for the Hockey owners and too beneficial to the city. The Arena was also built in Glendale and not Phoenix. I think another problem is lack of exposure to hockey in general for kids growing up. They don’t even have Thunderbirds/Silvertips/winterhawks etc to go and see.
As far as Portland and Hockey – The Pittsburgh Penguins were actually on the verge of moving to Portland, until Mario Lemieux jumped in and bought the team to keep it in Pittsburgh. Portland has made a strong effort to bring NHL and develop youth Hockey, which I think should go hand in hand to really be successful long term in any city.
NHL and NBA teams sharing arenas – There are I think 9 NHL and NBA teams that share. Most other NHL cities don’t have NBA teams in their cities. I think there are only 3 or 4 that have both but each have an arena.
Apparently the Phoenix Coyotes are looking to move now. Why isn’t Paul Allen trying to get them to move to Portland to share his arena with the Blazers?
The Coyotes did play in Phoenix, sharing the arena with the NBA Suns. That did not work for the Coyotes, so they moved into their own arena. And that has not worked, either.
What sort of lease deal would an owner of a private arena in Seattle give to an NHL team? The arena owner would need enough revenue to pay off the construction bonds on the arena. But, the NBA team would want all the arena revenues to pay their operating expenses, as would the NHL team. $500 million worth of construction bonds would take something like $40 million per year in debt service. that is $40 million per year in arena revenues that both the NBA and the NHL teams would want for themselves. The Mariners and Seahawks each pay less than $1 million per year in rent, and all the revenues from their respective stadiums go to the teams — not to pay off the construction bonds. That only worked because taxpayers paid for most of the stadium construction costs.
Why hasn’t the NHL put most of its teams in cities with NBA teams so they could share arenas with NBA teams? There must be a reason for that. The most obvious reason is because they have found out that it doesn’t work in most cases. Just like it did not work in Vancouver B.C. with a privately-funded arena and both NBA and NHL teams. The NBA team left Vancouver after just a few seasons, because sharing an arena with an NHL team obviously was not working.
I don’t know that Paul Allen isn’t trying to bring the coyotes to Portland. Just because we don;t hear about it in the paper, doesn’t mean they aren’t trying.
As far as the Coyotes moving into their own arena, I think you could make the case that it would have worked if they continued to share the arena with the Suns. Maybe having a separate arena is really the thing that didn’t work.
For the lease and construction and whatnot, I don;t know the ins and outs of the numbers. However The groups that are involved in doing this new arena project have made it pretty clear they are not looking for public money like the other stadiums. If it didn’t pencil out for them I have a hard time believing they would have spent the time and money they have already. Also, people seem to get hung up on the cost of building the arena and leases, its rare to hear people talking about the revenue that the stadium generates. Also the stadium isn;t just about sports, its concerts and other such events.
Another argument for the NHL working better in Seattle is the influx of Canadian visitors. As someone who grew up in a border city with an NHL team, I have seen numbers of Canadians who will come down for games. That’s hotel stays, dinners at restaurants, shopping etc. that wouldn’t happen otherwise.
Not every city is as big as Seattle and could support the 2, or have other sports already and can’t support more than what they have, Also the Canadian aspect of it. Look at some of the NHL cities, Buffalo, Columbus, Tampa, Raleigh, Pittsburgh,Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, San Jose, Anaheim etc.It’s not just about sharing an arena, its about support and passion for a sport. Maybe NBA didn’t work in Vancouver because Hockey interest exponentially out does Basketball up there. Remember Like we have and follow college football and Basketball, Canadians follow the World Junior championships, their local minor and Junior teams.
Of course, that makes the argument against hockey here: there is no college or high school hockey in the Seattle area that I have ever heard of.
The “revenues generated by an arena” argument was made for the remodel of KeyArena. That worked for a few years. Then it did not work any more.
Teams want every dollar generated by the arena/stadium. This includes revenue from concerts, et. al. They don’t want to share that revenue with any other team. They don’t want any of that revenue going to pay for the building. The teams want ALL the facility-generated revenue to go to the team!
Look at the M’s and Seahawks. Every dollar generated from those stadiums goes to those teams. If there is a concert at Qwest Field, that revenue goes to the Seahawks — not to the county, who owns the stadium. Every dollar generated by the trade show building connected to Qwest Field also goes to the Seahawks. Every dollar generated by the Qwest Field parking garage goes to the Seahawks.
Same with the M’s at Safeco Field. Every dollar generated by every event and all the parking revenue goes to the Mariners. The M’s don’t share that revenue with anyone. Even so, the M’s claim to have lost money in 2 of the last 3 seasons at Safeco Field, which is only about 13 years old!
A $500 million arena would take something like $40 million per year to pay off the construction bonds. That is $40 million per year in revenues that the team(s) in the arena would not get, and it is revenue that the team(s) in the arena would WANT to get.
I see no way this could possibly work. They tried this at KeyArena — using revenue from luxury suites and club seats to pay off the construction bonds — and it worked for about 5 years, and then it didn’t work any more. Both the Sonics and the City of Seattle wound up losing money on KeyArena every year after about the first 5 years.
Does not work.
I don’t understand the “didn’t work anymore” comments. The construction bonds are paid off, it worked.
The arena is 50 years old and is paid for. It is time for a city the size of Seattle to have a newer arena, regardless of Hockey or Basketball. Well I guess we could just let the city age and deteriorate without fixing anything.
The new arena would be built WITHOUT public money. so whats the problem.
You see no way this could possibly work, it works in cities all across American and Canada.
A new arena and NHL or NBA will work, it has it will and can. The only real debate I think would be is if the city can support NBA and NHL simultaneously.
I get annoyed with the hands over the ears “it will never work, we don’t want to try anything, stop, it may cost money to make money and improve our city” With that mentality the city will stop growing and stopping being renewed and stop being a place companies want to do business in.
The construction bonds were paid off by Bennet in exchange for the city letting him out of the lease. And you consider that “working”? Is that how you expect this new arena would “work”? Let the team leave before its lease is up if they pay off the construction bonds? That would “work” for you?
Before Bennet paid off the remaining debt service on the construction bonds the city of Seattle had been taking millions of dollars per year out of its general fund to make the yearly payments on the construction bonds.
Again, is this your idea of “working”? Taking money out of the city’s general fund to make bond payments every year? The City Council did not think that was how it should “work.” And, that was not the original plan to pay off the construction bonds. That was done because the original plan to pay off the construction bonds with revenue from luxury suites and club seats did NOT WORK.
You honestly don’t get this? Or, are you just being disingenious?
As I thought, there is no high shcool or college hockey in our area, then?
The new arena is not being built with tax payer money. I don’t know how else to say this. I don;t understand the animosity against this new arena proposal, its what you would want right? no tax payer money.
The Sonics played in Seattle for 41 years, so yes that worked.
Hockey is run differently than your usual Basketball and Football for kids. It’s set up in age brackets going all the way up to Midget, which is ages 15-18, so yes there is hockey for high school aged kids and younger. Most youth hockey is played in leagues such as these. Hockey is a cool sport you should check it out.
I can’t believe I am having this “debate” with someone on a sports website.
PAC8 is all club hockey, which means it is not recognized as an NCAA sport.
Latest word is that there will be about $200 million in tax revenues going into the new arena. So, it seems you have no idea what you are talking about.
It is definitely a NCAA sport. Frozen Four?? Just because the certain schools don’t participate doesn’t mean it isn’t recognized by the NCAA. Hockey, to me, is just a very geographic sport.
Oh, and here is a link to the UW hockey website. http://www.huskyicehockey.com
Here are some links to youth hockey in Seattle
That statement about sharing an arena is wrong and ridiculous. In fact its the opposite. The NY Rangers, Philidelphia, New Jersey, Boston, Washington, Chicago, Colorado, Los Angeles, and Dallas (9 teams)all share arenas. The only ones that don’t are Minnesota, Phoenix, Florida, and Detroit (4 teams). The rest of the hockey teams (17) aren’t in the same city as an NBA team.
All good questions, Grover. I don’t think Seattle would support both an NHL and NBA team… it’s never been more than a mediocre hockey town (Portland and even Spokane are better) while there are people who’d rather gargle carbolic acid than see David Stern’s league return.
Personally, I’d prefer the NHL if it came down to choosing between the NHL or NBA (the Coyotes are an obvious target while I’d keep an eye on the NY Islanders, too…that’s 3 team in the Greater NY market and the Isles are by far the weak link), but any arena should NOT be built with taxpayer money: Between Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field and the KeyArena renovations, that’s about a billion dollars of public money spent on facilities for privately-owned sports teams. How much is enough?
All good questions, Grover. I don’t think Seattle would support both an NHL and NBA team… it’s never been more than a mediocre hockey town (Portland, Spokane and even Everett support their teams better) while there are people who’d rather gargle carbolic acid than see David Stern’s league return.
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