Originally posted on Next Impulse Sports  |  Last updated 6/17/13
What’s the most convenient aspect of the 13th largest media market in America only having two major professional sports teams? The other two leagues get to use it as the ultimate negotiating tool in order to have their way with their current member cities. Recently, the NBA dangled the threat of relocation to Seattle in order to extract a sweetheart deal out of Sacramento to keep the Kings from moving north. Roughly one month later, it’s the NHL’s turn. Last week, reports surfaced of a recent conversation between McGinn and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, which coincided with meetings between two potential NHL investors — Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza — and members of the Seattle city council. None of this should come as any surprise, because the league has done this before, when push came to shove in Edmonton for a new arena last fall. But first, some background: The Phoenix Coyotes have been league-owned since 2009, and have been operating as a charity case under the city of Glendale (the city provides an annual $15 million subsidy for the team to operate Jobing.com Arena). After the latest lockout, the league is looking for a more favorable situation, and even has an NHL-approved ownership group, Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, lined up to purchase the team. However, the bright red flag waving in front of the Glendale city council is the fact RSE is a Canadian group, they’re relying on borrowed money, and are seeking a lease opt-out after five years. In the Edmonton situation, Oilers owner Daryl Katz actually made a symbolic appearance in Seattle last fall, “researching” sites for an NHL team (translation: he participated in a photo op at Key Arena). The league was never serious about moving the Oilers, but the illusion worked, as Edmonton is going to be the recipient of a state-of-the-art facility, set to open in 2016. The showdown in Glendale resembles more of a New Orleans Hornets Pelicans situation than anything else, as the NHL owns the Coyotes. But that means Bettman and the owners are calling the shots, which is probably just as undesirable as if they were run by a lone misfit owner. Ultimately, a relocation to Seattle (the NHL’s “Plan B”, as has been reported by people in the know) is an empty threat, at best. And for one reason: Key Arena sucks. Key Arena was a fantastic place to watch an NBA game (and still is, even if the league doesn’t think so), but it’s a mess for hockey. When it was remodeled in 1994-95, then SuperSonics owner Barry Ackerly gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a middle finger, making it about as inconvenient a place for hockey as possible. How bad is it? For the moment, let’s ignore the fact Key Arena only holds 11,000 people for hockey (or 13,000, depending on your definition of the word “optimal”), the fact the scoreboard doesn’t hang over center ice, and the horrendous sight lines: the ice doesn’t even stay frozen. I’ll say it again (in a new paragraph, for emphasis): the ice doesn’t stay frozen. Because part of the surface runs under an arena overhang, the ice actually melts during games, turning one end into a slushy mess. Based on all those factors, it’s not a matter of Key Arena being merely a temporary solution — it’s a matter of it being laughable as any solution. The T-Birds even bailed on it five years ago. It’s hard to imagine the NHL actually signing off on at least two seasons in Key Arena, but it is Gary Bettman we’re talking about here, so anything is possible, I suppose. Still, nobody should take any of the NHL’s threats seriously until an arena suitable for hockey is actually built — which will be when Chris Hansen puts a shovel in the ground to house an NBA team. [SportsPressNW] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kyrie Irving asked Cavs to trade him

Report: Knicks open to trading Carmelo, picks for Kyrie

Landon Collins: Giants will ‘definitely’ topple Cowboys atop NFC East

Are the Cowboys bracing for possible Elliott suspension?

Simpson parole board member opens up about Chiefs tie

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Draymond Green calls out Damian Lillard

Pacman Jones suspended for Week 1 of upcoming season

Stenson had rental home robbed at Open Championship

Report: Carmelo would waive $8M trade kicker for Rockets

Report: Rangers shopping Yu Darvish in trade talks

Floyd Mayweather dating former reality TV star Abi Clarke?

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Every NFL team’s biggest question as training camps start

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker