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Updated Feb 1, 2013 - 6:38 am

Reporter: Coyotes' move to Seattle isn't likely

PHOENIX -- People in the Pacific Northwest are paying close attention to what happens to the Phoenix Coyotes.

Hockey fans in Seattle would love to lure the Coyotes to their city. But there's one problem.

"There's no building (for them to play in)," said reporter Josh Kerns of KIRO-AM radio in Seattle.

Kerns said that could change. A group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hanson wants to build an arena as part of an effort to bring an NBA team back to the city.

"As part of the original deal to get some public financing and a public loan for the arena, Hanson has promised to build it to NHL specifications," said Kerns. "He would like to partner with somebody to bring the NHL to town."

But Kerns believes it could be several years before that arena opens. He said if the NHL moves the Coyotes to Seattle now, they would have to play in an arena that does not meet league standards.

"They could play in Key Arena with a smaller capacity if the NHL were willing to make an exemption there," said Kerns. "It's where the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team used to play (before moving to Oklahoma City). After it was renovated several years ago, it can only hold between 10,000 and 11,000 fans for hockey.

"The other possibility is the Tacoma Dome, a larger facility that has hosted minor-league hockey in past years."

Kerns said that the dome would need to be renovated.

Still, Kerns believes there is only a slight chance that the Coyotes will move to Seattle.

"I would say, realistically, given the timing here, unless an investor were to step in right away and say that ‘Yes, I am willing to pay this money for a facility', that the chances are less likely of a move to Seattle. Although, there are people here who are very hopeful."

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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