When city leaders originally announced in 2017 that the NHL would consider an expansion application for Seattle, a poster hung from the podium reading "Seattle World Hockey Championships 1917."
It's true that not only did Seattle previously had a hockey team, but some credit that team for changing hockey forever. The Seattle Metropolitans became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917.
Two blocks from the Washington Athletic Club is the long-gone arena that the Seattle Metropolitans called home for about a decade. It's where they clinched the best-of-five Stanley Cup series on March 26, 1917.
"The location of the arena was on 6th and University, which later became a parking garage, and then later the IBM Building," researcher Jeff Obermeyer told KIRO Radio earlier this year. "It's a spot right there almost in the heart of downtown."
Development and construction on the downtown property was carried out by the Metropolitan Building Company, predecessor of current operator Unico Properties.
They were called the Metropolitans, named for the Metropolitan Building Company,” said Obermeyer. “[They] built the arena where the Mets played.”
Without that rink, Obermeyer said, it would’ve been hard for hockey to catch on in Seattle’s mild climate any earlier than 1915, when the team was formed.
Scroll down to read more
- Corey Feldman's 1993 tapes about sexual abuse have been found
- Woman dead, teenage son injured in double shooting in Everett
- Trump administration wants more people to work to get food stamps
- Bremerton girl says she faces racial slurs and bullying at school
- Photos: Liquidation sale at Seattle's Hotel Deca
“There was no organized hockey around here until 1915, because you had to have an artificial rink,” Obermeyer said. “It’s too warm here most winters to play outdoors like they do in other cities where hockey has been played longer.”
The story of the Seattle Metropolitans’ Stanley Cup victory is almost something of an urban myth. It happened so long ago, of course, and there are no audio recordings or even silent newsreels of the action. Any eyewitnesses to the game passed away decades ago.
And 1917 was a different era in Seattle. In less than a month, the U.S. would formally enter World War I, and troops would begin arriving at what was then called Camp Lewis. It was a simpler time for many things, including professional hockey.
© 2020 Cox Media Group