Seattle Arena Design Proposals

On Friday, the city of Seattle released three design proposals from 360 Architecture for the new arena to be built in the SoDo neighborhood. The building is being designed to house NHL and NBA games.

Option 1: Iconic and transparent

Seattle Arena design proposal by 360 Architecture

The first option is a unique building with lots of exterior glass. It's very cool look that I think would fit into Seattle rather nicely. The designers tout it's "landmark, iconic form" while recognizing that the "highly transparent façade may create challenges with [the] Seattle Energy Code."

Option 2: Simple and efficient

Seattle Arena design proposal by 360 Architecture

This design is a "cost effective building that maximizes function, architectural footprint, and street frontage," according to the architect. There isn't as much open space around the building as in the previous option, but maybe that's a good thing considering the weather around here during the hockey season. But aesthetically, this isn't my personal favorite.

Option 3: Front porch to downtown (preferred)

Seattle Arena design proposal by 360 Architecture

This final design was proposed as the "preferred option." Like the second one, it maximizes its architectural footprint, but it looks a little more modern. The entrance creates sort of a "front porch to downtown," according to the designer. However, it has a much "less iconic presence" than the first option.

I could certainly live with this design, but I think Option 1 is still my favorite. Then again, I'd be happy to walk into any building that has NHL hockey going on inside. Right now there's no city with that.

What do you think of these potential designs for the new Seattle Arena? Which one is your favorite? By the way, if you want to see the entire design proposal, there is a PDF available on the city's website.

Imagine the Oilers in Seattle

Sorry, I just can't. It's ridiculous and we all know it.

In the midst of a lockout and negotiations to have a new arena built in downtown Edmonton, the bigwigs from the Edmonton Oilers paid a visit to Seattle today — just to poke around and such.

Monday, Seattle's City Council officially approved a plan to move forward with the much-discussed new arena project. That's great but the entire thing still hinges on securing an NBA or NHL franchise. And all the cities that already have them really like them and don't want us to take them. So that's the trouble.

To help alleviate that trouble, apparently, the Oilers brass was in town for "meetings" and a stop at KeyArena — down the street from me. (Oh, and to watch the Seahawks beat the Packers unconvincingly, as well.) Oilers fans hate it.

This is a stone that kills two birds. On one hand, it's the Oilers saying, hey Edmonton, you don't want to buy us a new arena, we'll find a new city that will. (Even though they really won't.) And on the other, it's Seattle trying to convince itself that there are potential teams out there to snatch up. (Even though there really aren't.)

Trying to follow it all is a nightmare. So I count on Chris Daniels. As a Seattleite, I just want to wake up one morning and find out we have a hockey team and an arena. And that I have season tickets.

But then I'd just have to wake up again.

Seattle Lays Out Plan for NHL Arena

Seattle mayor Mike McGinn / KING 5Seattle announced a proposal today that would put a new NHL-caliber arena in the city's stadium district. And as a Seattleite, I'm thrilled at the prospect!

The question of whether the Emerald City will again be home to pro hockey is by no means answered with this announcement, but it sure is a step in the right direction. So what other hurdles need to be cleared to make it a reality?

The proposal comes from hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, who apparently has money to burn — almost $300 million, in fact. Of course the only way he'll burn it is if he's guaranteed some kind of return up front.

Meaning this: unless both an NHL and NBA team can be lined up to occupy the building on Day 1, this whole thing is dead in the water.

There's good news and bad news then. The bad news first. He's more a fan of the NBA than the NHL. So he'll probably work harder to bring basketball back to town. (Seattleites would be thrilled; I'd be indifferent.) The good news for hockey fans here in Seattle? Getting an NHL team might actually be easier.

As we are painfully aware, the Phoenix Coyotes are in bad shape. Another season in Glendale seems like a longshot (sorry, Coyotes fans). There's been talk of sending them to Quebec or Ontario, but 1) Bettman would never go for it, and 2) certainly there's money to be made on expansion fees down the line. After all, neither of those markets have NHL arenas yet — though they're well on their way.

The upshot is there would be a place in Seattle for the Coyotes while a new arena is built. Part of the new arena deal would involve the two new teams playing at Key Arena during construction. I've never actually been to an event there (not a huge fan of the WNBA) but everything I've heard about it is bad. But as a temporary home, I'm sure there are worse buildings.

As for the NBA, I'm sure other blogs can offer better coverage. But my understanding is that Sacramento is working hard to keep the Kings — which may be in vain — but that Anaheim is a more likely place for them to relocate. Elsewhere, the New Orleans Hornets are, like the Coyotes, owned by the league. And it sounds like the NBA wants back in Seattle anyway — as long as we have a suitable building.

So why the blog post on this subject? My excitement aside, I thought you guys might like to spend some time talking about the "what ifs." As in, what if the NHL really did come to Seattle? How would you like to see that work?

Seattle Metropolitans jersey / M Jarred SheltonI'm not in favor of stealing other city's teams, but expansion is out of the question right now. Let's say it's the Coyotes. Do they change the name? If so, to what? Many have suggested Metropolitans — the name of the city's original hockey team and winner of the first Stanley Cup awarded to an American-based club (1917). 

The Seattle Totems played here between 1958 and 1975. But my personal favorite is Seattle Breakers. Just has a good ring to it. I can hear myself cheering "Go Breakers!" (unlike Mets or Totems). Plus, the Breakers sound like a hockey team. And think of the marketing slogans.

I also like Sounders but that's taken by our MLS team. Another good name, Seattle Storm, is taken by the WNBA.

What about divisional realignment? Obviously, the NHL wants a major overhaul, but if they don't get it, should Seattle remain in the Pacific division, or move the Northwest? It was a question I raised on Twitter earlier tonight. The response, by far, was that Seattle needs to be in the same division as Vancouver. I agree. In our inaugural season, we have to be able to rub our Stanley Cup in the faces of Canucks fans.

Any other ideas for Seattle? If you've got concept art, please send it along. I'm hoping to relaunch the Concepts page this weekend with a completely new format. I'd love to kick things off with my town!