SBD/April 3, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Chris Hansen Not Interested In Bringing NHL To Seattle, Remains Focused On NBA

Hansen said he is confident an NBA franchise will eventually come to Seattle
The investment group fronted by Chris Hansen that is "trying to bring men's professional basketball back to Seattle is remaining focused on the NBA, even if landing a hockey franchise could happen sooner," according to Tim Booth of the AP. Hansen said, "No one in our ownership group is interested in being a majority owner in an NHL franchise. That's been the case since the start. I've certainly queried our ownership group about this. I think if someone really wanted to it would be easier than bringing in an outside party." He added, "Getting involved in hockey solely because basketball hasn't worked out right now, when it's not something your heart is in, would be a disservice to the fans here." Hansen said that the focus right now is on getting "environmental reviews completed -- possibly by the end of the summer -- so that if an NBA franchise becomes available via sale or expansion, Seattle can be at the front of the line ready to go." He said that there are "far fewer conversations with the NBA now than there were at this time a year ago, though he remains confident the NBA will eventually return to Seattle." Hansen's investment group "has not changed, including former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and neither has his original timeline of trying to land a team within five years of when the process began" (AP, 4/2). Hansen said, "It's inevitable Seattle will have a basketball team. It's just a question of when." In Seattle, Percy Allen notes Hansen acknowledged that it would "be a risk for the NHL to place a team in Seattle and play temporarily at KeyArena because his arena-funding deal stipulates construction will not begin and the city will not contribute $200 million until an NBA team is secured" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/3).
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