Anonymous P asked in SportsHockey · 1 decade ago

Why doesn't Seattle have an NHL team?

I can't understand why Seattle doesn't have an NHL team.

Any ideas?

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Seattle doesn't have an NHL team because when the old Seattle Coliseum was gutted back in the mid-90s and rebuilt into Key Arena, the Seattle Sonics (NBA) and the city of Seattle decided that the arena's seating would be configured around a basketball court, instead of around an NHL-sized ice rink.

    When the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) play at Key Arena, they have to close off one end of the arena's seating just to get the rink in. They can seat 15,177 for hockey, but with obscured sight lines in one end.

    When the Hartford Whalers were looking to move in the mid-90s, Seattle couldn't take them in because Key Arena's seating didn't fit the ice rink and didn't have enough luxury boxes for an NHL arena. So essentially, there is no arena in Seattle that's built for NHL hockey. There has been talk about building one, but it's just been that - talk.

    After the renovation, I personally couldn't stand to go watch games in Key Arena because of the botched seating arrangement. It just pissed me off too much. I have many fond memories of the old Seattle Coliseum, and Mercer Arena, too.

    The closest place you could find to Seattle, and still be in the US, would be the Portland Rose Garden Arena where the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) sometimes play. They can seat 17,500 for hockey. Owner Paul Allen would like to bring in NHL team there, but hasn't been able to as of yet.

    Portland's probably the best place I've ever watched a hockey game - I was at the old Memorial Coliseum, tho'. The fans are great, and I think they really deserve a team there.

  • 1 decade ago

    Probably because Vancouver has one, and the arena issue. The Sonics might not even stay in Seattle due to that issue.

    Seattle had an NHL team, the Seattle Pilots, at the beginning of the 20th century. They were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup.

  • 1 decade ago

    Blame industry. For a team to land in a town, there has to be a lot of financial backing, and if businesses aren't set up in that town, or don't think it will make enough money, then they're not going to put money behind it.

    Also, at this point in time, if you're going to see anything when it comes to NHL teams, you're going to see retraction. The league did better than expected in 2005-2006, but they still draw no ratings (where a huge chunk of money comes from), and the fanbase, although dedicated as dedicated can be, is microscopic compared to the MLB, NFL, and NBA.

    The only way Seattle will get a team is if another city can't hold onto one - and even then you're going to have to battle all of Canada and a few major U.S. cities (Houston, for one) for the rights to the house a moving franchise.

  • 1 decade ago

    nhl teams are given a large sized area, which is supposed to be where they are the only nhl team in that area. a team in seattle would interfere with the canucks zone, so the canucks would have to approve a team in seattle.

    seattle doesnt have an arena that meets the current nhl standards

    there has never been an ownership group with enough money that wanted to put a team in seattle

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because as long as there is a team in Vancouver BC, Seattle is barred from having an NHL hockey team. This is to keep attendance up and to prevent yet another canadian team from leaving canada.

    Of special note... the very first american team to win the Stanley cup was Seattle

  • 1 decade ago

    I've been hearing about prospects for a team in Seattle since the mid-70's. I think it would make for a great rivalry with the Canucks and alleviate some travel cost's. I agree that the arena situation doesn't help and that the Sonics are having difficulty securing a deal for a new one. Until a new arena is built, I don't see it happening. But something will happen.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The NHL is too worried about putting teams in the South, notihing against expanding the market but still, and Seattle proably doesn't show enough intrest.

  • 1 decade ago

    Becasue they have the Thunderbirds, and just like Portland, OR, people that are spending $400 for season tickets are not willing to pay $4000 for season tickets. Also, Key Arena sucks as a hockey venue...they have to close half the thing off to even get the ice in!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Contrary to what many believe, hockey is not popular here. There are not really any leagues, and the one team (The Thunderbirds) that the city currently has doesn't really make any money. NHL is not really popular on the west coast in general. Besides, it isn't making much money.

  • not a big enough of a market and you'd be surprised by how many fans go up to vancouver for canucks games, it's interesting, although maybe paul allen should bring a team to seattle or portland, good rivalry potential for vancouver

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