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Report: Agent denies Wayne Gretzky in town to talk NHL on Eastside

Reports say hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is meeting with Bellevue officials to talk about the possibility of bringing the NHL to the area. (AP Photo/File)

Reports that surfaced stating hockey legend Wayne Gretzky was in the Seattle area Wednesday to talk about the NHL were "blown out of proportion," according to his agent.

Q-13 Fox's Aaron Levine talked to Gretzky's agent Thursday. According to the agent, Gretzky was the special guest of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter at the Mariners/Yankees game on Wednesday.

During the game, Wayne Gretzky was spotted shaking hands with Derek Jeter.

Shortly after the camera caught Gretzky in Seattle, rumors surfaced that the baseball game may not be the only reason the Canadian legend dropped in for a Puget Sound visit.

Dave Mahler of KJR tweeted that Gretzky was meeting with Bellevue officials to talk about the possibility of bringing the NHL to the area.

Chris Hansen has said that he and his investment group would bring in an NBA team if his arena plan is approved by Seattle City and King County councils. As for the investment opportunity for a professional hockey team, Hansen has left that open for other interested parties.

Still, Hansen's arena plan has been designed specifically for Seattle's SoDo district. Some in Bellevue have pushed for the NBA/NHL facility to be located on the Eastside. Until now, investors haven't appeared to seriously approach Bellevue.

Hansen has spent more than $35 million on land in the SoDo district for the potential arena.

The arena project calls for about $290 million in private investment from Hansen's group, along with $200 million from the city and county through 30-year bonds. Both the Seattle City Council and the King County Council are reviewing the proposal.

All construction costs, including overruns, would be paid for by Hansen's group, which includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the Nordstrom brothers.

King County Council could reportedly vote on Hansen's arena proposal Monday.


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