The NHL Board of Governors, which consists of team owners and their representatives, will meet in Sea Island, Georgia the week of December 3 and are expected to formally award an expansion franchise to Seattle to play in the new arena at Seattle Center.
Seattle’s last successful arena project was in the mid-1990’s, when the City and the then-owners of the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics paired up to create KeyArena at Seattle Center.
The power players behind the deal sat down with KING 5’s Chris Daniels for an on-the-record conversation about how the deal came together and the lessons learned for the next arena.
The group included:
Seattle businessmen Chris and Ted Ackerley – The Ackerleys are also minority investors in the new Seattle NHL franchise and sons of former Sonics Owner Barry Ackerley.
Former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice – Rice served as a two-term mayor of Seattle and has been honored with multiple awards and honorary degrees since his term in office.
Former Seattle Storm CEO Karen Bryant – Bryant is now the CEO of Atavus, a football and rugby company based in Seattle.
Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams – As Seattle Center director, Nellams has presided over the biggest makeover of the Seattle Center since the 1962 World’s Fair.
Former Sonics Executive John Dresel – Dresel went on to run Tully’s, and has his hands in multiple business ventures
Former city and Sonics Executive Terry McLaughlin – McLaughlin retired shortly after the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City.
Seattle Center Redevelopment Director Jill Crary
LISTEN: Full roundtable discussion
Editor's note: Portions of the conversation were edited for flow and clarity.