As you might probably expect, Chicago businessman Don Levin wasn't exactly eager to discuss whether he recently took a trip to the Puget Sound area to explore the possibility of bringing the NHL to the U.S. Northwest when reached for comment by Chris Daniels of King 5 News.
However, Levin's familiarity might provide some additional fodder for speculation among Seattle-area hockey fans hoping that the early reports come to fruition.
Chicago businessman speaks on Bellevue and NHL | KING5.com Seattle
Levin says he loves Chicago -- "been here all my life," he said -- but also admits to being familiar with the Puget Sound region.
"I’ve been there several times, and have property up on Vancouver Island. It’s beautiful," Levin said.
And while Levin isn't commenting directly on the issue, the wheels are in motion among others with a vested interest in bringing a team to the area.
Washington state representatives Mike Hope (R-Lake Stevens) and David Frockt (D-Seattle) spoke with Aaron Levine of Q 13 Fox on Sunday about uniting efforts to get a NHL team, bring back the NBA and stimulate the economy to build momentum on an arena deal and achieve goals that satisfy everyone's interests. That effort begins with putting together a task force of state and local government officials, private sector leaders, and perhaps even community groups like SonicsGate in hopes of developing a memorandum of understanding that they can agree to with either the NBA or NHL.
And with a plan taking shape, they have already established a tentative timeline for moving things forward.
Exclusive: State legislators talk about bringing NBA, NHL to Seattle Aaron Levine Spokane Bellevue Sonics - Page 2 - KCPQ
...you have a time frame with the task force and have to have that implemented and ready to go from day one, so we’d probably have to have a piece of legislation ready by [the] beginning of December. So that task force will have to come up with some soultions—tangible, bullet point ideas — by October so you can start running it by the staff.
Everything is still vague at this point, but the biggest obstacle to bringing the NBA or NHL to Seattle is getting a new arena built.
As representatives Frockt and Hope suggest, that will take a collective effort from a number of different interest groups. But two of the most significant parts - funding and leadership - seem to be closer to coming together than they have been recently.