Are the Coyotes Seattle-Bound?

Have you not heard?  The bird isn’t the word right now, but a canine might be lurking for a new home in Seattle.  Phoenix has been the home to the Coyotes since 1996 after relocating from Winnipeg.  Chances are that they have a good possibility of moving once again, this time to make the Pacific Northwest their home.

For the past several years, the Coyotes have been a league-owned team due to financial issues with their previous owner.  Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports reported that as of Sunday, the league has the legal right to negotiate with other cities for team placement.  This will be the last season that the NHL will have ownership of the Coyotes.

Currently, local lawmakers in Seattle are working on a fund to raise money for a new arena.  Seattle’s Key Arena isn’t necessarily hockey-friendly.

Elliotte Friedman writes:

The footprint is too small, featuring the same issues the Coyotes faced before the beautiful Glendale arena was built. They played at America West Arena, home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, and there were many obstructed seats.

Don Levin, owner of the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves, wants this franchise. And the NHL likes him.

It makes sense for a basketball and a hockey team to share an arena. However, word is that talks between Levin and the potential NBA ownership group about a facility partnership recently fell apart. Can it be repaired? “These things are off and on and then on, etc. Hard to say if it is dead forever,” said one source.

Seattle is a favorable option considering the area has wanted major league hockey for a while; back in 2000, Paul Allen wanted to bring an NHL franchise to Portland, Oregon.  The Seattle-Tacoma area is the 12th largest TV viewing market in the nation.  And with the Vancouver Canucks being just across the border, it could make a good cross-border rivalry.

If the franchise was to relocate to Seattle, there are good chances of a highly-intrigued fan base especially if a new facility is to be constructed.  Although the Coyotes may not want to relocate, it might just be the best decision for the league to make.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattKrombach

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