Report: Seattle arena investor says NHL team likely to come before NBA

Chris Hansen, the investor hoping to build an arena to house a possible NBA basketball or NHL hockey franchise in Seattle's stadium district, poses for a photo in front of a window showing CenturyLink Field, home of the NFL's Seahawks, and Safeco Field, home to MLB's Mariners. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

A Seattle arena investor believes it’s probable the city will land an NHL team before an NBA team, reports KING-5.

Chris Hansen, who leads a group that’s been pitching an arena project since 2012 for Washington’s largest city, says the group has had talks with potential NHL ownership groups and “will continue to have discussions.” He and fellow investors Wally Walker and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson met with a Seattle City Hall council member on Thursday. Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez voted against their pitch to vacate the street on which the project could be built last year but Hansen said Thursday’s meeting went well.

The group has a formal agreement with the City of Seattle to build an NBA and NHL complex but the project has been delayed by council.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said that the league is open to Seattle as a possible destination for a team, but has not committed anything.

“I happen to think the Seattle market would be intriguing for the NHL at some point, but we’re not sitting around waiting for them to get their act together on an arena,” Bettman said in a 2016 appearance on Prime Time Sports. “If it happens someday then we’ll deal with it at the time.”

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