Sports, business powerhouses join NHL Seattle ownership group

SEATTLE — The group looking to bring an NHL team to Seattle has brought on seven new investors with deep ties to the community.

Seattle Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer is now part of the ownership group, as are two sons of former Seattle SuperSonics owner Barry Ackerly.

Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke announced the seven new local investors at a news conference at KeyArena on Wednesday, describing them as “crazy as we are.”

Those investors are:

  • Andy Jassy – CEO of Amazon Web Services 
  • Adrian Hanauer – Founder and majority owner of the Sounders FC
  • Chris Ackerley – Son of former Seattle Sonics owner Barry Ackerley
  • Ted Ackerley – Son of former Seattle Sonics owner Barry Ackerley
  • Jeff Wright – Chairman of the Space Needle
  • David Wright – The Wright Family owns the Space Needle (will serve as Vice Chairman of Seattle Hockey Partners)
  • Jay Deutsch – CEO and co-founder of Bensussen Deutsch & Associates

“It is with great pride that we welcome these local investors and their families to our group as we strive to secure an NHL franchise,” said Tod Leiweke, President and CEO of Seattle Hockey Partners.

Hanauer is perhaps the most notable addition to the ownership group, but adding Ted and Christopher Ackerley is a nod to the history of professional sports in Seattle. The Ackerley family owned the NBA’s Sonics from 1983 to 2001 before selling the franchise.

Seattle Hockey Partners also announced that it will make a presentation before the executive committee of the NHL Board of Governors on Oct. 2.

The city of Seattle and sports facilities company Oak View Group also announced several agreements Wednesday on the proposed renovation of KeyArena, the former home of the Sonics that would serve as the future home for an NHL team.

The agreements, including one on a long-term lease, will be forwarded to the City Council and must be approved before the planned $700 million reconstruction of the arena can begin.

The final event at the current KeyArena is scheduled to be an NBA exhibition game on Oct. 5.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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