SEATTLE – A Los Angeles-based real estate tycoon with ties to Western Washington and some powerful names in sports are leading the latest effort to bring an NHL team to Seattle.
Victor Coleman, the CEO of Hudson Pacific Properties, was part of the NHL delegation that met with King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray back on May 6 in Seattle. He was flanked by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. The meeting included Jonathan Glaser, the Managing Member of JMG Capital Management, and Jeff Marks, the Managing Director of Premier Partnerships, which is also based in Los Angeles, and David Zimmerman, who is general counsel for the National Hockey League.
The six men met with the top two elected officials to, as an NHL spokesperson put it, “to obtain a status report on the new arena.”
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told KING 5 Thursday the purpose of the meeting was to ask for the city to change the Memorandum of Understanding for the Seattle Arena proposal.
Coleman leads the publicly traded company and is believed to be, along with Glaser, the principals interested in buying an NHL team and bringing it to Seattle. He maintains a low profile, but the 52-year-old boasts a portfolio that includes 26 properties, two movie studios, plus four buildings in Seattle and another in Lynnwood. His company website says Hudson Pacific owns the 83 King Building, 505 First, Merrill Place, and Met Park North in Seattle, along with the Northview Center in Lynnwood. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
Marks is the managing director of Premier Partnerships, whose chairman Alan Rothenberg carries some serious weight. Rothenberg is the founder of Major League Soccer and was the President of the U.S. Soccer Federation. He was the Chairman and CEO of the 1994 World Cup, the 1999 Women’s World Cup and served as an National Basketball Association Board of Governors, representing both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, according to his bio on the U.S. Soccer Federation website. It is unclear, however, if Rothenberg was in the meeting with city and NHL officials.
The Coleman-led group is the third known group interested in bringing the NHL to Seattle. However, the physical presence of the NHL’s top leaders, at a meeting in Seattle, likely solidifies their status as front runners. Ray Bartoszek, a minority owner of the New York Yankees, who holds business and personal ties to Seattle, was close to bringing the Phoenix Coyotes to Seattle last year. Don Levin, owner of the minor league Chicago Wolves, has also expressed his interest in owning a team in Western Washington.
Coleman’s group is believed to be interested only in a team in Seattle and not in Bellevue. Murray reiterated that in a short interview on the subject with KING 5 Thursday.
It is unclear if the Coleman-led group has made a formal offer to the NHL or a financial pledge for a new Seattle Arena. Chris Hansen’s group worked out a deal in 2012 with King County and the City of Seattle to build a new $525 million NBA/NHL arena, pending an environmental review and purchase of an NBA franchise. The environmental review is underway and is scheduled to be done by September. Hansen’s group had a purchase agreement to buy the NBA’s Sacramento Kings last year and move them to Seattle. That bid was voted down by NBA Owners on May 15 last year.
The NHL’s Board of Governors is scheduled to meet in June to discuss business matters.