Anything interesting happening in our quest to build arena(s) and acquire NBA/NHL franchises? Nothing really new on the former, but there is for the latter. Here's a run down.
Change to the due date?
When Gary Bettman announced a formal expansion process a week or so ago, August 10 was listed as the deadline. Today, we are hearing otherwise in an article at TheFourthPeriod.com.
As of today, no applications have been submitted, but the deadline isn't until July 20. To clarify, the expansion application process is broken into three phases, an NHL executive confirmed to me earlier today.
First phase submissions are due on July 20. At this point, the NHL will have a crystal clear indication of how many applications they are dealing with. The second phase is due a few weeks later, with final phase submissions due September 4.
I shall attempt to interpret that. It sounds like the initial application deadline is July 20, while August 10 would be the second phase deadline. Phase three is September 4.
Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker confirms this information.
#NHL deputy commish Bill Daly confirms a source's claim that expansion applications must be in by July 20. First stage in 3 stage process.— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) July 7, 2015
So did we lose 20 days there? I doubt it. My guess is the people who are submitting knew exactly what the dates are. Those who planned to apply will still apply.
Listen to yours truly on the Vegas Hockey Podcast
The Vegas guys invited me to talk about NHL expansion and the Seattle arena situation. It was fun. Check it out.
Well, it happened. The Milwaukee Bucks used Seattle (and Las Vegas) to threaten the State of Wisconsin with relocation. Team president Peter Feigin made the threat to the Joint Finance Committee yesterday as it received testimony on the Bucks' proposed arena. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on the hearing.
At an informational hearing held by the state Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, Feigin said the Bucks owners' purchase agreement for the team includes a provision that construction of a new arena start in 2015. If that does not occur, he said the NBA will buy back the team for a $25 million profit and move them to "Las Vegas or Seattle."
"The window is closing," Feigin said. "We can't wait months, even weeks to start the public process."
Feigin also told the committee he was optimistic that a deal would take place. He reiterated and expanded on those comments today in an interview with Syrius XM Radio.
Talking about the latest with the #Bucks new arena with President @pfeigin— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 7, 2015
Peter Feigin says the #Bucks need a new arena by 2017, which means they need to start construction in the next 2-3 months— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 7, 2015
"The undercurrent of the entire process has been all legislators want to see the Bucks stay here... that's encouraging" - @pfeigin #Bucks— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 7, 2015
"We have positioned this arena as happening. We have positioned this practice facility as happening." - Feigin on what the team to FAs.— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 7, 2015
"If we don't get this approved in the summer session then we will not be able to build an arena." Peter Feigin on #Bucks arena timeline.— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 7, 2015
I still believe the NHL will field at least two expansion applications from the Seattle region.
As for the Bucks, many people think this is simply a threat designed to push the arena across the finish line. Some think the NBA deadline is real, locked, and loaded. Some think it is both. The truth is that the situation is highly fluid and we have no idea how this will end. One thing is clear, though: this decision lies firmly in Wisconsin's hands. Neither Seattle nor Las Vegas can stop Milwaukee from keeping its team.