It’s been a while since we gave an update on efforts to bring an NBA and/or NHL team to Seattle. This, assuredly, isn’t due to a lack of dilligence on our part – rather, there simply hasn’t been much to report. Today, however, things are different. Because something potentially huge just happened.
Arizona Coyotes have never had a particularly easy go of things down in the desert. They were owned by the NHL for a while before being sold to a local ownership group in 2013. At that point, they signed a 15-year lease agreement to keep the team in
Glendale. For Seattle hockey fans, it seemed like the end of hope. The Coyotes had found stability, and it would keep them from the Pacific Northwest.
Yesterday Glendale City Council voted to void the remainder of the team’s lease agreement. The team is now free of any obligations to play at Glendale Arena, next year or ever. It’s like Seattle’s been gifted a golden second chance. We’ll see, of course, but that just might be the case.
So what brought this about? Thank Craig Tindall, the former Glendale city attorney who joined the Coyotes as general counsel shortly after the signing of the lease. That’s a conflict of interest, and one that caused the city to backtrack on their agreement with some kind of urgency. As of today, the Coyotes are homeless.
Remember last time the Coyotes had arena uncertainties? They were so, so close to moving to Seattle two years ago. The moving trucks were waiting outside the building, and only one councilmember’s vote kept them from relocation. They eventually stayed put by signing a lease that just now unexpectedly ended.
It’s time to pounce. As was illustrated two years ago, the Coyotes are pretty much ready to move to Seattle. They were then, and now things look even more tumultuous. The city reached out to renegotiate a new, more favorable deal, but the team is expressedly uninterested. All signs point to Seattle. Somehow.
If this seems too good to be true, it’s because it probably is. Until something concrete happens, expect nothing to happen. But it’s easy to see how this could work out for Seattle. The Coyotes are in flux, now more than ever. If Seattle would have worked out then, it stands to reason it would work out now.
Actually, you know what? Screw it. Get your hopes up. This is the best chance we’ve got. If Seattle is going to add an NHL or NBA team any time soon, it’s probably going to be the Coyotes, and it could happen pretty quickly. Cross your fingers. This might work out.