Tim Leiweke delivers for the Islanders, Seattle and NHL.
The New York Islanders franchise owners along with other New York City sports moneymen have apparently won the right to build an arena at the Belmont Racetrack site which straddles the Queens/Nassau County border. If the Islanders owners have been selected as the developers, Tim Leiweke who is not a part of the National Hockey League, has become a force in the NHL. Leiweke, who ran Phil Anschutz’s Anschutz Entertainment Group for years and was part of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Maple Leaf Sports Enterprise management team has delivered two arenas to the NHL. Leiweke’s Oak View Group won the right to rebuild Seattle’s arena and is one of the Islanders partners. The Oak View Group is partially funded by New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan who is now a partner with the Islanders owners in urban planning and development.
The National Hockey League is expanding into Seattle with a 2020 target date, the league has been eyeing the market which features a very rich corporate base. The league has invited Seattle investors to apply for an expansion team and it seems all that is left on the to do list in Seattle is to choose a team name, perhaps the Seattle Metropolitans, that Seattle team won the Stanley Cup in 1917 or the Seattle Totems, the name of the long time Western Hockey League franchise. Seattle has government support as the city awarded the Oak View Group the right to rebuild the arena, a robust corporate community and a good sized TV market. The Islanders franchise left Long Island in 2015 for Brooklyn and a 25-year iron clad contract which will last about six years. The new building is about three years away. The Islanders franchise along with the Mets and the Rangers ownership won big but the real winner is Tim Leiweke, an outsider who is the NHL MVP.
Seattle should have an NHL team in 2020/