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[Article] Prospective NHL owner Victor Coleman on Seattle: 'Perfect fit'


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http://www.king5.com/news/local/Prospective-NHL-Owner-Victor-Coleman-on-Seattle-Perfect-Fit-271000111.html

SEATTLE -- Victor Coleman classifies himself as a Northwest Native.

He grew up at 41st and Granville and would walk down the street to Sir William Osler Elementary, next to Montgomery Park.

Those formative years, on the West Side of Vancouver is when he fell in love with the country’s national pastime.

“I remember the day we got the Canucks,” he said by phone. “I remember the day they played their first game.”

He’d later attend Magee Secondary school, and as he grew, so did his appreciation for the sport.

Now 52 and as the head of a publicly traded company, he wants to own a team, but not in his hometown.

“I think the demographic base (in Seattle) and the desire of the NHL in that marketplace is the perfect match right now. The expansion of the NHL into the Pacific Northwest, with Vancouver and the presiding area, makes it a perfect fit,” said Coleman. “There are built in synergies. That’s a ‘Day 1’ rivalry.”

The CEO and president of LA-based Hudson Pacific Properties has had extensive business dealings on the West Coast. His company touts a portfolio of over eight million square feet in property across California and in Seattle. The company recently closed two deals on buildings in Seattle’s Pioneer Square for $281 million.

“That’s an investment in the City of Seattle through (Hudson), which is completely separate than trying to get the NHL to the City of Seattle,” said Coleman.

It’s clear Coleman has the support of the NHL. One league executive describes him as “the real deal,” and he was flanked by the NHL’s top leaders during a clandestine meeting in Seattle back in May.

Coleman and co-investor Jonathan Glaser, who sits on the board of Hudson Pacific, met face to face with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine in separate meetings in Seattle. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly were also on hand. The parties all left without an agreement or plan to move forward. Coleman says he feels like he’s made progress since.

“We have a clear path,” he said.

Part of that path runs through Chris Hansen, who successfully negotiated a deal with the city and county in 2012 to build a new NBA and NHL complex, pending an environmental review. Hansen has long said he is only interested in owning an NBA franchise, and the deal calls for public financing to be released and construction to begin only after the review and after Hansen acquires an NBA team.

Steve Ballmer, who successfully purchased the Clippers franchise on Tuesday, is a still an investor in the SoDo land, which Hansen has targeted for a complex.

Two sources with knowledge of the talks between Hansen and Coleman say that the two potential owners met in person a couple of weeks ago, and have been actively talking for months. In fact, according to the sources, the two potential ownership groups have signed a “non-binding” agreement which lays out the terms for Coleman’s contribution to the project and his potential revenue streams for a hockey franchise. Two other hockey ownership groups - one led by Don Levin, the other by Ray Bartoszek - have not laid out similar groundwork, per the sources.

“The location Chris has established is the right location, and we’re excited to be a part of that,” said Coleman.”That’s the best location we see, surrounding the transportation needs and the growth in Pioneer Square.”

It may be tougher to get the councils to adjust the MOU to allow for Hockey first. No elected leader has indicated it is even up for discussion.

“There is obviously a deal in place that can get done,” said Coleman. “The semantics by which it gets done, and the priorities by which it gets done, are going to depend on city officials, the county, and the Hansen group.”

Until then, Coleman says he’ll keep playing the sport he learned as a kid on the streets of Vancouver, in his adult men’s league, down in Los Angeles.

This guy sounds like he's the real deal and would be a great owner. It's probably at least a few years away based on the timeline of acquiring the NBA team and then building the arena, but imagine how awesome the cross-border rivalry would be between the Canucks and the Seattle team!

I could imagine the crowds at the games between them being a 60/40 split between home and away fans on any given night. Makes for a great atmosphere at the game!

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it's only a matter of time IMO

I agree, it's too good of a potential market for the NHL not to try, and the fact that Bettman and Daley accompanied Coleman to the meetings with city officials means that they're fully behind the idea.

I just hope we don't have to wait 5-10 years for it to happen because of politics, but that's how it seems to be going right now.

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Yes please! I can't stand how the Eastern Conference has more teams. I know still, the West is much harder, but it really takes legitimacy out of competition when one conference is smaller than the other. I say move the Panthers to Seattle and give them a real booming fan base. I can already see the wars between us as rivals. (Plus, Luo would be right around the corner again playing for our rivals.) If not, then you have to get two teams. Both conferences need the same amount of teams.

(Edit:) In all honesty, every division should have the same number of teams, but oh well. One step at a time.

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Yes please! I can't stand how the Eastern Conference has more teams. I know still, the West is much harder, but it really takes legitimacy out of competition when one conference is smaller than the other. I say move the Panthers to Seattle and give them a real booming fan base. I can already see the wars between us as rivals. (Plus, Luo would be right around the corner again playing for our rivals.) If not, then you have to get two teams. Both conferences need the same amount of teams.

(Edit:) In all honesty, every division should have the same number of teams, but oh well. One step at a time.

Expansion to Seattle and kansas city to even up divisions please.

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I know it's a matter of semantics, but it kind of irks me a little when all these articles keep saying things like "_____ wants to bring an NHL team to the Pacific Northwest", "The Pacific Northwest is one step closer to getting a hockey team."

Where is Vancouver located? Maritimes? Prairies?

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I know it's a matter of semantics, but it kind of irks me a little when all these articles keep saying things like "_____ wants to bring an NHL team to the Pacific Northwest", "The Pacific Northwest is one step closer to getting a hockey team."

Where is Vancouver located? Maritimes? Prairies?

Keep in mind that King 5 is an American news channel. Not that I agree with it, but perhaps for their audience, it's implied that "Pacific Northwest" means only the portion of the region that's part of the US.

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I know it's a matter of semantics, but it kind of irks me a little when all these articles keep saying things like "_____ wants to bring an NHL team to the Pacific Northwest", "The Pacific Northwest is one step closer to getting a hockey team."

Where is Vancouver located? Maritimes? Prairies?

the pacific southwest portion of canada.

seattle being the pacific northwest of america.

stop being such a bitter melon.

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Would love to see this happen. The hard part is likely convincing the politicians to cough up the funding to build an arena for hockey and then hope to get a basketball team later. Seattle lost the Sonics because the tax payers wouldn't authorize funding for a new arena. They should be giving a big middle finger to the NBA anyway.

It really pisses me off in the US where the billionaires get all the tax and social advantages and still make tax payers cough up tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars for there shiny toys like pro sport teams. At the same time they spend millions opposing things like raising the minimum wage to a liveable level. Let the billionaires pay for their own arenas, give them tax breaks if you need to but don't give them the tax money from the poor shlub who works at Walmart.

Las Vegas has a new arena getting built that would get us to 16 in the west and give Arizona a natural rival. I have said it before, come on Dana White time for you to stop buying Ferraris and buy a hockey team. UFC and NHL together at last.

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Would love to see this happen. The hard part is likely convincing the politicians to cough up the funding to build an arena for hockey and then hope to get a basketball team later. Seattle lost the Sonics because the tax payers wouldn't authorize funding for a new arena. They should be giving a big middle finger to the NBA anyway.

It really pisses me off in the US where the billionaires get all the tax and social advantages and still make tax payers cough up tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars for there shiny toys like pro sport teams. At the same time they spend millions opposing things like raising the minimum wage to a liveable level. Let the billionaires pay for their own arenas, give them tax breaks if you need to but don't give them the tax money from the poor shlub who works at Walmart.

Las Vegas has a new arena getting built that would get us to 16 in the west and give Arizona a natural rival. I have said it before, come on Dana White time for you to stop buying Ferraris and buy a hockey team. UFC and NHL together at last.

i just threw up in my mouth a little.

a dana white owned team would be 4 lines of 4th line plug fighters. they'd basically be the charlestown chiefs

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Las Vegas has a new arena getting built that would get us to 16 in the west and give Arizona a natural rival. I have said it before, come on Dana White time for you to stop buying Ferraris and buy a hockey team. UFC and NHL together at last.

Kansas City already has a huge arena... and they don't have all the ethically hazy implications of having a pro sports team in the sports gambling centre of the universe.

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Would love to see this happen. The hard part is likely convincing the politicians to cough up the funding to build an arena for hockey and then hope to get a basketball team later. Seattle lost the Sonics because the tax payers wouldn't authorize funding for a new arena. They should be giving a big middle finger to the NBA anyway.

It really pisses me off in the US where the billionaires get all the tax and social advantageshun and still make tax payers cough up tens if not dreds of millions of dollars for there shiny toys like pro sport teams. At the same time they spend millions opposing things like raising the minimum wage to a liveable level. Let the billionaires pay for their own arenas, give them tax breaks if you need to but don't give them the tax money from the poor shlub who works at Walmart.

Las Vegas has a new arena getting built that would get us to 16 in the west and give Arizona a natural rival. I have said it before, come on Dana White time for you to stop buying Ferraris and buy a hockey team. UFC and NHL together at last.

Its no different in Canada, just ask the folks in Edmonton how their new arena came to be.

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I agree about Edmonton. Why do you think Burke was out stumping for a new arena in Calgary (and the saddle dome has been an embarrassment since 1988 when it was built-stupid upside down arena). It is deplorable that public funding is going into that arena. I remember back when Ottawa was building their arena and were complaining that they got stuck with the bill for the road construction around the arena. That is how it should be.

How would a four line goon team be any different than what Calgary tries to put on the ice?

At least we can say that our team plays in a privately funded building, at least until a replacement is needed.

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I agree about Edmonton. Why do you think Burke was out stumping for a new arena in Calgary (and the saddle dome has been an embarrassment since 1988 when it was built-stupid upside down arena). It is deplorable that public funding is going into that arena. I remember back when Ottawa was building their arena and were complaining that they got stuck with the bill for the road construction around the arena. That is how it should be.

How would a four line goon team be any different than what Calgary tries to put on the ice?

At least we can say that our team plays in a privately funded building, at least until a replacement is needed.

I think it also had something to do with all the flood damage leaving the lower levels of the building in pretty bad shape. Even after they cleaned it up, it's never going to feel the same after all that mud water and debree has been floating around in there.

That being said, they needed a new building anyways.

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