Chris Daniels continues to be the best and most active reporter regarding the effort to lure the NBA and NHL to Seattle and he has demonstrated that once again with an interview of prospective Seattle NHL investor Victor Coleman.
The entire King5 article is full of good personal information about Coleman himself, but here is a look at the most intriguing passages, involving behind the scenes talks between Coleman and hopeful NBA investor Chris Hansen.
Two sources with knowledge of the talks between Hansen and Coleman say that the two potential owners met in person a couple of weeks ago, and have been actively talking for months. In fact, according to the sources, the two potential ownership groups have signed a "non-binding" agreement which lays out the terms for Coleman’s contribution to the project and his potential revenue streams for a hockey franchise. Two other hockey ownership groups - one led by Don Levin, the other by Ray Bartoszek - have not laid out similar groundwork, per the sources.
It may be tougher to get the councils to adjust the MOU to allow for Hockey first. No elected leader has indicated it is even up for discussion.
"There is obviously a deal in place that can get done," said Coleman. "The semantics by which it gets done, and the priorities by which it gets done, are going to depend on city officials, the county, and the Hansen group."
So there you have it. Not only have there been negotiations between Hansen and Coleman, but it sounds like an agreement has been struck. Does this mean that Hansen is willing to do the NHL-first if the councils agree to modify the MOU? Does it mean that they have an agreement about what happens if and when Hansen secures an NBA team?
I would say that the latter is more likely, but at the very least, it sounds like some progress toward bringing the NHL to Seattle has been made.
@RPaulRogers I’ve heard nothing to believe Hansen, City, County want to change MOU at this point.— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) August 13, 2014
UPDATE NOON, 8/13
Daniels appeared on the Michael Grey Show on 710sports.com and added some tidbits.
- Hansen and Coleman met in San Francisco to sign a letter of intent a couple weeks back.
- Reminded of the EIS/SEPA delays, which will push final approval to November, at the earliest.
- Reminded that there seems to be no interest by Hansen or the councils in modifying the MOU for an NHL first scenario, but indicated that Coleman feels like he might be able to persuade them.
- Reiterated the NHL's desire to be here.
- Clarified that there are still other NHL ownership groups still interested, but Coleman is in the driver's seat because of support from the league and his progress with Hansen.
Here is a the podcast.
- Neither Coleman, nor any other NHL group has offered X amount of dollars to reduce the public investment, which would be a game changer in revising the MOU for an NHL first scenario.
- Doesn't know if Coleman has interest in being a minority NBA owner.
- We don't really know Coleman's net worth.
- The NHL wanted something to happen this year, but the window for getting an NHL team may be shorter than the MOU provides. NHL is looking for an answer sooner than later and needs something concrete to go with. Sounds like something needs to come to fruition in the next year or so.