1. Location, Location, Location
While an arena in SoDo would be amazing and add to an already sporting atmosphere with Safeco Field and CenturyLink field, it can be tricky getting to the stadiums. It shouldn’t be, but coming from the south, it can be a bit of a hassle to get to Safeco from the highway. In other words, it shouldn’t take long, but it does. It also makes games more accessible geographically for fans south of Seattle.
2. Privately Funded
The arena project, spearheaded by the “Russell Group” will be privately funded. This means the public won’t be paying. This has been an issue in the past, not just in Seattle, but in other locals.
3. Hockey First?
Seattle is no doubt interested in the NHL making the Pacific Northwest a permanent home, but the NBA is likely a bigger draw given the city’s history with and yearning for professional basketball.
The hockey first would also solve the city’s Catch-22 situation with the NBA were the city (specifically the Seattle Arena project) needs a team to break ground on an arena, but the league wants an arena in place before it can send a team our way.
Having an NHL team first would also give the area time to get behind hockey in the same way the team threw their lot in with the Sounders.