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NHL unanimously approves expansion to Seattle
04 December 2018, 10:11 | Charlene Valdez
NHL approves Seattle expansion franchise, set to begin play in 2021 nearby Amazon campus
After the National Hockey League said it would consider the potential ownership group's expansion application at this time a year ago, a season-ticket drive to gauge interest resulted in a jaw-dropping 32,000 deposits, including 10,000 purchased in the first 12 minutes.
The NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously in favour of awarding Seattle the league's 32nd franchise on Tuesday. The league said Seattle's team will begin play in the 2021-22 season.
He was right. LeBrun followed up later by saying the league voted unanimously on Seattle's expansion.
The ownership group, led by majority stakeholder David Bonderman, Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and CEO Tod Leiweke, will pay a $650-million U.S. expansion fee. The NHL announced back in March that any potential expansion draft for Seattle would be conducted under the same rules that Vegas was given upon their entrance into the league, though Vegas will be exempt from the process.
We don't know a lot about the team's plans as of yet, only that they'll be playing at a renovated KeyArena (former home of the SuperSonics) in downtown Seattle and that they'll be joining the Western Conference's Pacific division.
Seattle Hockey President and CEO Tod Leiweke joked that he'd have to throw out some Seattle 2020 business cards because of the pushed-back timing.
"They've always felt that we should have a little more time to build the arena right", Bruckheimer said. Seattle will be getting Cup Crazy in June 2022? The team's ownership group - led by by billionaire businessman David Bonderman - said they'll take their time deciding on a team name, but that certainly hasn't stopped early speculation and input.
Before considering expansion, the board opens its annual two-day December meeting Monday with updates on the state of the league's business and hockey operations. With just 230 kilometres separating the two cities, Seattle will ease the Canucks' brutal travel schedule and create the first natural geographic rivalry in franchise history.
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