Seattle investor group has 'strong interest' in NHL franchise

by
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

Seattle would like to house a NHL club.

Oak View Group reached an agreement with Seattle mayor Ed Murray on Tuesday to privately fund the construction of a $600-million arena at the Seattle Center.

The building would be a prime location for a NHL franchise, and the league's deputy commissioner said that appears to be part of the group's plan.

"The group has confirmed having a strong interest in owning and operating an NHL franchise," Bill Daly said, according to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun. "We will be continuing to monitor the situation."

Oak View Group leader Tim Leiweke says billionaire David Bonderman - a potential NHL owner - has put money into the building, according to KING 5's Chris Daniels.

Leiweke is a former president and CEO of both Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, whose holdings include three major sports franchises, and Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Los Angeles Kings as well as several other sports teams and arenas.

In November, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told a conference in Toronto that the NHL would not focus on Seattle until the city "actually build(s) a building."