Russell Wilson discusses effort to bring NHL, NBA to Seattle

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Russell Wilson understands first-hand the kind of impact professional sports can have on a city.

Since breaking into the National Football League in 2012, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback has experienced the roar of the 12th Man, and helped deliver the city its first-ever Super Bowl in 2014.

Now, Wilson is hoping his impact on Seattle’s pro sports landscape can extend past football and into two other major sporting veins. On Monday, it was announced the quarterback was joining the Sonics Arena Group’s campaign to bring the NBA and NHL back to Seattle by becoming an investor.

Details of Wilson’s investment weren’t made public, but Wilson explained his reasons behind the decision in an article in The Players’ Tribune Tuesday morning.

“I want kids in Seattle to grow up dreaming of playing basketball or hockey for their hometown team,” he wrote.

Despite growing up almost 3,000 miles away from the Pacific Northwest city he now calls home, Wilson was a rabid fan of Seattle’s now-defunct SuperSonics.

“I loved their name. I loved their colors. I loved [Shawn] Kemp and [Gary] Payton, and then in later years, I loved watching Ray Allen swish corner threes with that perfect form,” Wilson wrote, adding that sports fandom is “how a lot of kids learn to dream.”

The SuperSonics were sold in 2006 and moved to Oklahoma City in 2008.

“It doesn’t seem right that they’re gone,” Wilson wrote.

“The NBA needs that green and gold back. Seattle needs basketball back. And hockey, too,” he wrote, adding that the Seattle Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup in 1917.

“So I’m doing what I can to make that happen.”

Last month, lead investor Chris Hansen said he would “privately finance the proposed project in exchange for tax breaks” in an effort to forego public funding.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman addressed Seattle’s bid in a recent edition of 30 Thoughts, calling Hansen’s announcement a “potententially game-changing move.”

According to Friedman, the NHL’s position in Seattle is “wait and see.”

Seattle has been in the mix for a possible NHL expansion team. Las Vegas was rewarded a franchise back in June, with Quebec City and Seattle left behind for future consideration.

The city of Seattle has opened a request for proposals for possible renovations to KeyArena, which was home of the SuperSonics.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.