A few days ago somebody wanted to talk to me about an arena in King County. A few weeks before that somebody else asked me questions. And, before that. . .
There are some constants in all of these exercises (none of these are facts, just obvious assumptions): Key Arena is dead; there isn't an actual location for the new arena; the NBA and NHL will occupy the building; the building will be completely privately funded (people forget the municipal infrastructure service to an arena, but that can all get offset by some user fee/parking tax); there is always an assumed owner; the City of Seattle and the State of Washington are assumed to be of little or no use; the market is too big to ignore; the fans are better people than any of the other parties involved.
With that I give you the Seattle Lightening (next time, make sure you take a few swings at Jeff Smulyan, thanks).
The fact Leiweke was chosen as the new head of operations in Tampa and given part ownership is not a coincidence, it’s due to behind the scenes work with many people in this area on Clay’s Funhouse and on the fact the ownership in Tampa especially Jeff Vinick (now the 6th ownership group in less than 20 years) is looking for a way out of the failed Sun Belt hockey experience. Leiweke has gotten buildings done in Minnesota and a handful of other towns. He has the knowledge and the friendships in Seattle to do the same.Read the whole thing, here,
The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa is tied to Lightning ownership, that makes an escape clause a moot point….There isn’t one…Whoever owns the team can pack up anytime they choose to and (pardon the pun) bolt.
The building issue in Seattle isn’t the issue (right now), where the issue lies is with some behind the scenes dealings (trust me, there are talks going on as I type this) about how long a team would be stuck in the Tacoma Dome as a “temporary venue” …Personally, I think it’s “if they come, we will build it”…
Leiweke is our best friend right now when it comes to an arena sport, and we need to keep up the goodwill during his TEMPORARY stay in Tampa. Remember folks, you might not like hockey..That’s fine…But you think an NBA team wouldn’t follow closely behind a Seattle Lightning strike?
Things about about to heat up….Get those season ticket deposits ready because 2011 isn’t that far off and Tampa is about to feel karma kick it square in the ass….Tampa Bay Mariners? Psssssh….Seattle Lightning, my how times change….
seattlesportsblog: Thunder in OKC Means Lightning In Seattle....: "Thunder in OKC, Lightning In Seattle? By: Anonymous Tod Leiweke is gone to Tampa.....As a Seahawks fan it registers somewhere between 'Hey!..."
Now, go buy a New Seattle Arena, 2014 bumpersticker right now.