SEATTLE – Ray Bartoszek may be willing to make another investment in Seattle.
The co-owner of a Connecticut-based investment firm, along with partner Anthony Lanza, recently met with Seattle city leaders to discuss their interest in bringing an NHL franchise to the city. A source says they all toured Key Arena, and surveyed the work which would need to be done to make it happen.
His interest comes as no surprise to those that know him in Seattle.
“I can tell you that he and his wife have deep roots in the Washington State and the Puget Sound region,” said Meg O’Conor, spokesperson for Seattle-based biotech company Kineta. Bartoszek, and his wife Lydia, have invested in the company, which focuses on developing on therapeutics to fight autoimmune disease, viral disease and chronic pain. The Bartoszek’s invested in the company through their firm RLB Holdings.
“Ray has very high standards for how he conducts business,” said O’Conor, who adds that the Bartoszek’s invested in Seattle because they wanted to “increase the number of quality jobs in Seattle’s biotech sector.”
She would only hint at why Bartoszek would be interested in owning an NHL team in the city.
“They are interested in Seattle’s economic well being and its future,” said O’Conor.
Bartoszek said, through O’Conor, he would have “no comment at this time” about his NHL interests.
Records show the Bartoszek’s do have extended family in the Puget Sound region.
Seattle city leaders have stressed that they believe Seattle is a ‘Plan B’ for the NHL, in the event it cannot secure a new lease and franchise deal for the league's Phoenix Coyotes. The league currently owns the franchise and has been looking to sell the Coyotes for four years.
On Friday, Glendale Arizona city leaders emerged from a closed door executive session with no concrete answers. A Glendale spokesperson told reporters they hope to have a deal in place by July 2.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had previously stated he was hoping to have an answer prior to the NHL’s Board of Governor’s meeting scheduled for next Thursday, June 27 or the league will explore other options.