National Hockey League to consider Seattle expansion bid

National Hockey League to consider Seattle expansion bid

The iconic sloped roof of KeyArena, center, a sports and entertainment venue at the Seattle Center, is seen from above Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Seattle.

On Thursday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman dropped some big news on the hockey world, announcing that the NHL would be accepting an expansion application from the city of Seattle. The commissioner also noted that Seattle would be on the hook for a $650 million expansion fee should it be accepted as the 32nd team.

Earlier this week, the Seattle city council approved a $600 million renovation for KeyArena after the plans were submitted back in September.

Las Vegas had conducted a season-ticket drive in its bid to land an NHL team, and the league eventually approved the application. "This is a process that we go through". This last season the National Hockey League opened an expansion team in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. They began play this season.

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Seattle could become an option for 2020-21, though there are no guarantees the league expands there, Bettman said at the board of governors meeting.

How a Seattle NHL franchise would work in terms of conference allocation or expansion draft players or even a team name has not yet been brought to the table, but the fact that Seattle has reached this point gives the city a step in the right direction of gaining a team.

Bettman said the David Bonderman group in Seattle has been granted permission to file an application for expansion and run a season-ticket drive, similar to what occurred with the Vegas process. "But I think there is a lot of pent up appetite in Seattle for this", Durkan said.

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