NHL commissioner Bettman visits Seattle, gets update on arena status

SEATTLE — NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made a visit to Seattle to meet with local elected leaders to get an update on the status of a possible new arena.

NHL spokesman Frank Brown confirmed Bettman’s meeting on Tuesday after it was first reported by KING-TV. Brown said Bettman was on the West Coast for NHL playoff games and met with Seattle mayor Ed Murray.

Brown said the meeting was solely to get an update on the status of a new arena being proposed by investor Chris Hansen. Legislation approved by city and county officials call for an NBA team to be placed in Seattle first before an NHL team unless the memorandum of understanding on the project is rewritten.

In an interview last month, Hansen said his group does not have interest in being majority owners of an NHL team.

Seattle has been a rumored landing spot for an NHL expansion franchise after the near move of the Phoenix Coyotes last summer. Bettman said earlier in the NHL playoffs that Seattle needs to get its arena situation settled before the league will consider a franchise there.

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