A Seattle Times article last month reported a plan that the city has to bring NBA and NHL teams to their market.
A wealthy San Francisco hedge-fund manager is the lead investor seeking to build a sports arena south of Safeco Field to lure an NBA basketball team back to Seattle, according to two sources briefed on the effort.
Christopher Hansen, 43, who has roots in Seattle and now heads Valiant Capital Management LLC, in San Francisco, is working with an investor group whose proposal has yet to be publicly unveiled.
Hansen, described by one source as a multimillionaire, could not be reached for comment Friday. He previously lived in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood, public records show.
Hansen is working with a Bellevue man who would like to bring an NHL professional hockey team to Seattle to play in the arena, according to the source, who did not know the name of the Eastside participant.
Both men understand they need each other to make the proposal work, the source said.
The hockey factorSeattle knows the economic impact losing a team can have in a region, and they are looking to replace that lost not only with a new NBA team, but a NHL team as well. Seattle is a major threat to Islanders fans and their hopes of keeping their team. At this present point and time (things can change) the three most likely places I see the Islanders landing are Brooklyn, Quebec, or Seattle.
If built, the arena would add a third professional sports facility in the Sodo area, joining Safeco, home of the Seattle Mariners, and CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC.
Many think a new arena would have to offer both professional basketball and hockey to be a viable business proposition.
Seattle has never had an NHL team, though in 1990 a group led by then-Sonics owner Barry Ackerley, who died this year, sought to acquire an expansion franchise, but withdrew its bid.