Mayor Ed Murray’s office plans to arrange a conference call with the NBA and NHL to talk about the ongoing arena process. An NBA source also said the league had no plans to meet with Seattle officials.
A spokesman for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said Monday he plans to arrange a conference call with the NBA and NHL to discuss the city’s ongoing arena process.
That process took a major turn last week when the city, for the first time, began seeking proposals to renovate KeyArena for use by both leagues. Benton Strong, a spokesman for Murray, said the intent is to keep league commissioners apprised of the city’s process and timeline moving forward.
Strong emphatically denied a widely circulated online basketball website posting Monday that stated Murray had been “ducking” calls from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver over much of the past year.
“There is absolutely no truth to that whatsoever,’’ said Strong, who, with Murray, was en route to a mayors’ conference in Washington, D.C. when informed of the post. “If anything, we are trying to get together on a call with both commissioners to keep the lines of communication open.’’
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Strong expressed confidence the call, or calls, will happen shortly, adding it’s just a matter of coordinating everybody’s schedules.
The website “16 Wins A Ring’’ put out a post — co-authored by Adam Joseph and Keith P. Smith — early Monday claiming unnamed NBA sources say the league will soon announce expansion for two teams. It stated the league is considering Seattle, Mexico City and Louisville and that Seattle is “a lock” to get a franchise if it straightens out its arena situation.
The post also claims NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is frustrated that Murray has been “ducking his calls” and that the league has tried to reach the city numerous times with no callbacks. It added: “The league will reportedly be in town this week for serious talks in finalizing details and clarification on the arena situation.’’
An NBA source told The Seattle Times there was absolutely no truth to the post. The source said nobody from the league’s head office planned to meet or talk with any Seattle officials or groups in this city or anyplace else in the near future.
A Twitter account run by Joseph, the website’s editor-in-chief, has more than 13,700 followers and the post had gained considerable internet traction by Monday afternoon.
Joseph said via text message Monday that the site stands by the story.
The NBA recently completed a new collective-bargaining agreement and there has been widespread speculation the league could open an expansion process within the next year. But Silver has continued to state in recent weeks that there are no imminent expansion plans and the NBA source indicated the topic has yet to even be brought up among owners.
The city has issued an April 12 deadline for proposals to renovate KeyArena. Both AEG and the Oak View Group, each based in Los Angeles, have said they will submit proposals and spokesmen for both companies confirmed Monday they had no talks were scheduled with Silver this week.
Murray has also said the city will consider a revised proposal by entrepreneur Chris Hansen in Sodo District, but only after it’s decided whether or not KeyArena is a viable option. Sources have said a KeyArena remodel could take three-to-five years to complete once a proposal is approved.
The timing, they said, depends largely on whether the NBA or NHL makes teams available and creates any urgency to hasten construction.