SBD/May 16, 2014/Franchises

Major Investment Group Working With NHL, Chris Hansen To Put Team In Seattle

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Hansen is trying to figure out how to get an NHL franchise to Seattle
A major investment group trying to bring an NHL franchise to Seattle "emerged on Thursday with word it is working with the league, potential arena builder Chris Hansen and top municipal officials to get a deal done," according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. Hudson Pacific Properties President, CEO & Chair Victor Coleman and hedge fund manager Jonathan Glaser are "heading the group, which has engaged in extensive dialogue with various entities since last year to land an NHL expansion franchise." Their "latest step was a meeting last week in Seattle with Mayor Ed Murray, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and others." Murray on Thursday said that he "let the group know that the city council is not prepared to rework a Memorandum of Understanding between the city, county and Hansen to build a Sodo arena for a hockey team ahead of an NBA franchise." Sources said that dialogue "remains ongoing with Hansen and that the NHL hasn’t given up on efforts to get a team in here ahead of the NBA." The Coleman-Glaser group is "being represented by Premier Ventures, a sports investment advisory group" founded by Alan Rothenberg and his associates, Jeff Marks and Randy Bernstein. Murray "feels the city should be studying alternatives to the Sodo plan" until Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer "figure out how to get an NBA franchise to Seattle." But Ballmer's NBA interests "might be leading him away from Seattle," as he said Thursday that he is "interested in bidding for the Clippers" (SEATTLE TIMES, 5/16). KING5.com's Chris Daniels noted the Coleman-led group is the "third known group interested in bringing the NHL to Seattle," but the "physical presence of the NHL’s top leaders, at a meeting in Seattle, likely solidifies their status as front runners." Coleman’s group is "believed to be interested only in a team in Seattle and not in Bellevue" (KING5.com, 5/15).
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