It's so close to fruition. Seattle is getting an NHL team! Is the NBA far behind? | Stone – The Seattle Times

It’s all over but the Zamboni.

This messy process, always contentious, often ugly, is nearing an end game that once seemed unthinkable.

A new arena WILL be built in Seattle Center. An NHL hockey team WILL be playing in our city, quite possibly by 2020.

And now, it’s legitimate to dream about a day when NBA basketball will return as well. I know, many of you have had that dream since 2008, when the Sonics bolted for Oklahoma City, only to see it cruelly dashed so many times.

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But I would say that the prospects of a return of the NBA are brighter than at any time since January 2013, when Chris Hansen’s group reached agreement to buy the Sacramento Kings and relocate them to Seattle. The jubilation and anticipation in these parts was immense.

We all know what happened next – rejection of that sale by the NBA Board of Governors in April 2013, followed by a series of roadblocks in Hansen’s continuing efforts to build a Sodo Arena that would entice another NBA team.

In the middle of all that, not one but two powerful development groups emerged with the seemingly preposterous idea of renovating KeyArena. The city embraced that plan as a way to solve a civic problem on someone else’s dime — $700 million worth of dimes, to be precise.

Eventually, Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group won out over Seattle Partners (which included Oak View’s rival AEG) in June 2017 on their bid to do the renovation. Which brings us, 15 months and many hurdles later, to Tuesday’s events, and the impending arrival of the NHL.

Oh, it’s not absolutely official, but you can go

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