Geoff Baker told us he was available to do a podcast tonight and because of this, we decided to do a special podcast just for the sports business columnist for the Seattle Times.
Baker was kind enough to step into the Sin Bin to discuss his article today at the Seattle Times, which cites a study done by the American City Business Journal and raises a degree of concern regarding Seattle as an NHL Market. Here are some excerpts from that article:
Cities are rated on a 100-point system: 100 indicating "full capacity'' to take on a new team; 70-99 showing "borderline capacity"; sub-70 meaning "inadequate capacity" and a non-starter.
Seattle scored 88 overall, the mid-range of "borderline" capacity to acquire new teams. The study says basketball is less costly than the NHL, so it's hardly surprising the NBA is considered the better bet here.
"Keep in mind that economic capacity is only one facet of any decision to expand or relocate,'' the study says. "Other considerations would obviously be of similar importance, such as the proximity to existing teams, the availability of stadiums or arenas, and unique local factors.''
On the podcast, Baker is quick to point out that he in no way considers this report to be the only or deciding factor in regards to Seattle as an NHL market, but that Seattle needs to look at such issues with a critical eye because of the enormity of the decision to place a team in the Puget Sound region.
Geoff also touches on the status of competing locations to SoDo, and competing ownership groups to Chris Hansen and Victor Coleman. He also gives his take on the effort to modify the SoDo MOU with an NHL-first component.
We also got a surprise visit from NHLToSeattle.com's John Barr, who has a different perspective to offer about the ACBJ report, raising a concern that it only utilizes one metric in its findings. John also discusses NHL playoffs and some kick-butt t-shirts that you might want to buy.