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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Canucks Army Roundtable: Sleepless in Seattle

The NHL expanding or moving to Seattle has long been thought of as a possibility. There’s a fan base, a geographical rivalry in Vancouver and the growing population. The only thing missing is a new arena. As has been discussed for a long time. Gary Bettman was in town yesterday and was asked about this. In his political way, he basically said without a new arena the NHL isn’t even thinking about it. But are you? Our writers are, and I asked them!

Question: Does the thought of a team in Seattle excite you?

Ryan Biech

Yes

Vanessa Jang

HECK YEAH IT DOES except it probably won’t be for at least 4+ seasons. I have no doubt they’ll eventually get a team, it’s just a matter of when.

Jackson McDonald

How could anyone say no? Of course it excites me. Vancouver has never had a legitimate geographical rival, which is something both they and the NHL deserve. Plus, Seattle is just a wonderful city with so much to do and a great culture, so it gives us all another excuse to go down there.

Jeremy “In Disneyland” Davis

I think Disneyland should get a team, like they used to. The current Anaheim one doesn’t count, it’s just a shell of a greater former self. They aren’t even mighty. Sad!
I think the new Disneyland team name should be the Exhaustion and the logo should be a picture of me passed out after spending 30 hours in Disneyland over a 3 day period with 2 small children.
Also, I guess Seattle would be pretty cool.

Always90Four

How the NHL hasn’t already put a team there is beyond me. Vegas just doesn’t seem like a market that can survive and will at some point 10-15 years down the road, beg to move. Seattle gets hockey. All the surround leagues like the idea of a little brother NHL team hanging around SoDo. The idea of a road trip 3-4 times per year is exciting and it starts a rivalry that all of the northwest can get behind.
Hopefully, Carolina or another failing franchise gets a clue and forces the NHL to up and move them.
I love the idea of Seattle getting a team and eventually it will happen. The Pilots/Metropolitans deserve a successor.

Taylor Perry

Well, yes, of course it does! It would sure buck the trend of putting expansion teams in non-traditional hockey markets. Seattle has a significant hockey history and is a great sports town (see: Seahawks, Sounders). And of course, on a selfish level, it would be great to make a day trip by car to watch the Canucks play in another city. That would be such a great development for this franchise to have a true geographical rival.

Matthew Henderson

I’m definitely excited for the day to come, but the luster has worn off a little bit with the continuous road blocks. That being said, the minute the NHL goes there, I’ll be all about it.

    • Frank

      Chris Hansen has worked for some time to build an arena in SODO to house both NBA/NHL. He’s already announced that he and his investors will fund the project themselves without public assistance. It’s true that there is no owner waiting in the wings to buy an expansion team but to say that there is no plan whatsoever is not entirely accurate. I’m a Nuck fan living in Seattle so the addition of a team here would be great but my loyalties will change for sure.

      • SJ

        Isn’t there an issue with the land, though? I didn’t think they had the land in place to build on yet. There’s also a competing ‘plan’ to update Key Arena, right?

        • Frank

          Chris Hansen and the investment team have purchased all the industrial land that is needed to support the complex. At this point, they need the City of Seattle to vacate a street since the street bisects the project site. The street itself cold be easily closed off since it is designed to service the warehouses which of course will go away once the project is built. The Key Arena upgrade is not feasible due to lack of transportation options specifically light rail from north and south and east. There is very limited parking at Seattle Center.

  • Based on WHL attendance, Portland seems more logical than Seattle. Here are some attendance stats from hockeydb which can be used to gauge the level of grassroots support:

    – London Knights: 8900-9000 (holding steady, all sellouts?)
    – Portland Winterhawks: 5600-7400 (peaked in 2013/14 at 7400, trending down)
    – Vancouver Giants: 4000-7000 (crashing from 8700 in 2006 to 3800 in 2017)
    – Seattle Thunderbirds: 4000-4800 (inching up from 4000 to 4800 since 2010)
    – Kootenay Ice: 1700-2200 (likely going to go bankrupt or move, 1700 in 2017)

    If Portland got an NHL team, Nike (which is HQ’d in Portland) would give Reebok and Adidas a run for their sponsorship money too. That being said, I’d love to see both Portland and Seattle get NHL teams.

    • Frank

      To be fair, you need to add in the Everett Silvertips about 1 hour North of Seattle. They draw about 4700 to 5800. So combined, the greater Seattle region draws between 8700 to 11000 for the WHL product. There’s plenty demand for professional hockey here in the Seattle market.

  • Aaron

    I’m probably more skeptical than most people down here, just because of where hockey is happening in the Seattle market. The two WHL teams are in Everett and Kent (far out of the city center – like Abbotsford to Vancouver). There are no actual ice surfaces in Seattle proper – for kids to play, they need to go to Renton, Kirkland, Shoreline (all suburbs). There is interest, and a downtown arena would be right in the middle of the two WHL teams (who both draw really well), but in order for it to work well they’ll need to cultivate interest in the city itself.