According to a new report from KING 5's Chris Daniels, Victor Coleman is still working on bringing the NHL to Seattle, despite not filing for expansion by the league's deadline.
In emails between Coleman's representative Jeff Marks and Mayor Murray's former chief of staff Chris Gregorich, Marks wrote that Coleman and his team "wanted to follow up now that summer is behind us and our team is looking forward to hearing any updates around the Key Arena site. We had a good call with Bob at AEG and we are ready to move forward with this option, if viable. Also wanted to know any updates on the SODO site and street vacation."
Key Arena was brought up in relation to the now infamous AECOM report, speculating that the arena could be renovated to be NHL (and NBA) compliant for $285 million. Marks claims the discussion was a "knee jerk reaction" to the report and called it "more casual than casual."
Another email, this one from city budget analyst Candice Livingston Foote and sent to Gregorich as well as budget director Ben Noble, stated that Key Arena had done its own study on the financial impacts of shutting down operations for two years in order to renovate in case of, what she called, "privatization of KeyArena due to a national team tenant."
The study showed that there would be workforce and construction issues, plus the added problem of what to do with the Seattle Storm and Rat City Rollergirls in the interim. It also found that there would be added traffic to the already congested Lower Queen Neighborhood due to extra "high attendance events." The study found that the cost to the city for the closure would range from $5.8 to 21 million over a three-year period.
Marks told KING 5 that Coleman still wants to work out an agreement with Chris Hansen "beyond our previous non-binding agreement."
Daniels also notes that Ray Bartoszek is still working on his Northwest Arena in Tukwila. That arena is still conducting its Environmental Impact Study, and Bartoszek has extended the project's land options, according to a KING 5 source.
For now, Coleman and Bartoszek will have to wait, as we all do. Coleman for the Seattle City Council to take up the Occidental Ave vacation, and Bartoszek for the EIS. It's nice to know they're not giving up, though.