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Geoff Baker Throws Down Some Tukwila Tidbits

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Gary Bettman's interview from last week has prompted Geoff Baker to report on information he's been tracking behind the scenes about Bellevue and Tukwila arena possibilities.

The arena wars may bet a bit rough.
The arena wars may bet a bit rough.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Gary Bettman interview from last Friday that we reported on last night seems to have opened the floodgates today for information that we have been hungry for.

Suddenly everyone is reporting on the Tukwila  and Bellevue possibilities for an NHL/NBA arena. The latest is Geoff Baker, who has apparently been tracking this story behind the scenes for a while now.

For most of the past year, investor groups interested in alternatives to the Sodo arena proposed by Chris Hansen have quietly held discussions with landowners of two prime sites in Tukwila and Bellevue.

They've deliberately left the limelight to Hansen while they talk with landowners, politicians and potential investors to gauge the viability of building in either location.

The Tukwila site, just south of Boeing Field, is owned by Seattle real estate magnate and onetime Sonics minority owner David Sabey. And the owners of the Bellevue land agreed more than two years ago to sell it to a developer that still hopes to attract investors to build an arena there for an NHL or NBA team.

Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the talks say there are at least two investor groups led by prominent figures with ties to professional sports teams. One of those groups would have to provide the funding or bring in additional investors to get an arena built.

Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the talks told the Times that both locales are gaining traction as Sodo alternatives. None of the talks are said to involve Hansen or Los Angeles real estate developer Victor Coleman, who has said he wants to bring an NHL expansion franchise to Sodo.

The Tukwila site appears to offer advantages over Bellevue, primarily because of the land ownership setup.

There is actually a ton of information in the article, which I encourage you to read for yourself.

If Baker's information is correct, then Tukwila and Bellevue are both very real possibilities for an arena, should the right groups come up with enough money, and should Chris Hansen and the City of Seattle blow a huge fourth quarter lead.

UPDATE, 1:05 PM

Baker went on the Michael Grey Show and talked more about the situation. He added some important information. His segment starts about 30 minutes into the podcast.

  • There are two competing ownership groups involved.
  • Both of them are working on proposals that are fully funded by private dollars.
  • One of those groups is likely to come forward in the next couple of months.