Seattle Now Considering an NHL-First Arena Proposal
It's not quite an NHL expansion version of the classic Chaos Theory metaphor -- a butterfly in Beijing causing a hurricane in Houston -- but it's close.
It's got logistical possibilities. Tukwila is:
- Literally minutes from Sea-Tac Airport,
- Roughly halfway between Seattle and Tacoma,
- Home to the largest mall in western Washington, and
- At a confluece of the area's two major north-south interstate highways.
It's also got the City of Seattle's attention.
While local-boy-makes-good Chris Hansen was considered a savior to Seattle's NBA re-entry hopes, he's been doing nothing but herding cats lately, especially since main benefactor opted out to splash serious cash on the Los Angeles Clippers.
He'd already made a fool of himself in attempting to swipe the Sacramento Kings, he's got no friends in the Seattle Mariners ownership, and now an alpha-orca has weighed in with doubts about the proposed Seattle arena location.
And Paul Allen knows issues when he sees them.
The hard fact is the NBA isn't coming until after 2017's projected labor dispute, if it's coming at all. Seattle's NBA interests have always been apprehensive about an NHL presence in the city, underscored by former Sonics owner Barry Ackerley sending his son to infamously betray an expansion bid in 1990.
All that bad basketball baggage is piling up, whether or not it was created by Hansen. His NHL-afterward stance has not only gone the way of the dodo bird, but his public funding may have followed.
What with Las Vegas all but anointed as an NHL expansion franchisee and the league needing another Western outpost to balance its conferences, the Seattle mayor's about-face on hockey über hoops is significant.
His task now is battling the butterfly.