Seattle is selling hockey tickets the way Starbucks sells coffee

Seattle is selling hockey tickets the way Starbucks sells coffee

So all of a sudden, Seattle is a hockey town? Seriously?

I must admit, I'm shocked. Deposits for season tickets for a potential NHL expansion team were taken for the first time Thursday at 10 a.m. online and in just 12 minutes 10,000 commitments -- at either $1,000 or $500 -- were recorded.  That crashed the system, but within an hour, it's been said that 25,000 commitments were received.

It took the latest NHL expansion franchise, in Las Vegas, about six weeks to sell 10,000 season tickets. Of course, ultimately the tickets are going to cost a whole lot more than those deposits and refunds will be given to those who aren't serious buyers or who aren't satisifed with ticket locations. And of course, there won't actually be 25,000 season tickets available. The renovated Key Arena won't be that big. To an extent, this was more a test of hockey interest in Seattle than it was an actual ticket sale. And to a greater degree, it was a publicity stunt.

I'm hearing it was done to help the team acquire a list of possible ticket buyers because the expansion team is going to be granted to Seattle as soon as next week. We shall see.

All I know is what I've heard from my friends in and around the NHL -- league commissioner Gary Bettman is nuts about getting a team in Seattle, even though Portland has been a better hockey town than Seattle for only about the last 50 years. You can talk about the professional WHL and the Buckaroos vs. the Totems or the junior WHL with the Winterhawks vs. the Thunderbirds.

In fact, I think I've figured out how all those ticket deposits came in so fast.

About half of them probably came from Portland.

Brackets Revealed for PK80

Brackets Revealed for PK80

The brackets for the much-hyped PK80 tournament have been released, and if you are a fan of college basketball you are in for a treat.

The tournament, boasted as one of the largest regular season tournaments in college basketball history, features 16 teams – a list that includes a combined 24 National Championships, three of last season’s Final Four teams, as well as five other teams that made the field of 64 last season.

PK80 will consist of two brackets, “Victory” and “Motion,” with each bracket crowning their own champion over the weekend. 

According to a press release, the names were chosen to pay tribute Nike and Phil Knight –

- “Victory”: In Greek mythology, Nike was considered the goddess of Victory

- “Motion”: The swoosh logo is not only meant to represent motion, but to also resemble the wings of the goddess Nike

Here is a quick breakdown of both:


The “Victory” bracket will play host to local teams Oregon and Portland, 2017 National Champions North Carolina, as well as UConn, Georgetown, Oklahoma, Michigan State, and Arkansas.

Round 1 will see North Carolina vs Portland, Arkansas vs Oklahoma, Georgetown vs Michigan State, and UConn vs Oregon.


“Motion” will be headlined by 2017 runner-up and Northwest favorite Gonzaga, along with fellow local school Portland State. They will be joined by Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils, Texas, Stanford, Ohio State, Florida, and Butler.

Round 1 will see Duke vs Portland State,  Butler vs Texas, Florida vs Stanford, and Gonzaga vs Ohio State.

Click here to view a printable bracket

The two brackets will run simultaneously at Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum from Thursday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 26, with no games being played on Saturday.

Note: The champsions of the individual brackets will not play eachother, instead the brackets are being treated like two individual tournaments. 

For more information visit pkinvitational.com




A national treasure? Get real, Memorial Coliseum is a dump

A national treasure? Get real, Memorial Coliseum is a dump

Now people are telling the good citizens of Portland that Memorial Coliseum is a "national treasure." They obviously haven't been inside the structure. Or had to worry about how much it's going to cost to repair it and keep it open.

Certainly one person's treasure is another person's trash. And as someone who was there in the early days -- when it hosted the Final Four, the Portland Buckaroos and the newborn Trail Blazers -- please believe me when I tell you the building is in horrible shape and even if repaired, is badly outdated. The story in the above link details the kind of money that it will take just to fix all the things wrong with that ancient building -- and how much it will cost just to keep it operating.

And even if all that money is spent, the building will still be a financial loser, have too few rest rooms and a concourse way too cramped to handle even moderate-sized crowds. And yes, I'm fully aware it's a memorial to our veterans.

But come on, let's be real. The memorial part of Memorial Coliseum was a fountain and a wall on the lower level that most people never saw and has been broken for most of its existence. The only reason it was a memorial in the first place was that in the days it was built it was easier to get the package approved by voters if it was a memorial to our war heroes. As a memorial these days, it's more an insult -- given its sad state:

Many seats are broken and there isn't enough leg room for customers. The lines at the rest rooms are a serious bladder test and the concourse is way too small. It's more than a half-century old, for crying out loud. It's uncomfortable and it's dirty -- and it's the kind of dirty that just doesn't wash off; the product of decades of spills, filthy shoes, body odor and assorted other disgusting evidence of its past. Public arenas are a little like cell phones, they quickly become out of date. They just aren't supposed to last this long -- as evidenced by Moda Center next door, which serves to make you even more aware how inadquate the coliseum is.

I don't care how much of a national treasure it appears to be, that's fool's gold. The cost of doing anything with it other than imploding it is way too steep. It's not a tourist attraction or a necessary venue in our city. It's a money pit with glass walls.

And it's about time this city finally comes to grips with that and uses the land for something that would bring value -- even profit -- to the city. A ballpark was a great idea but there are so many other choices -- a sports museum, a park, an entertainment district, a roller coaster. Whatever. Let's build a new national treasure.

And get rid of an aging money pit.