Thursday, the National Hockey League announced that Seattle would be allowed to begin the process of bringing an NHL team to their city.
At the NHL Board of Governors meeting in Florida on Thursday, the city of Seattle was approved for an expansion application. This does not mean they have been awarded an expansion team, but that they now can begin the process to see if there is real interest in having a professional hockey team in the Emerald City.
Seattle has requested to fill out NHL expansion application. NHL has approved that, and will allow Seattle to conduct season ticket drive.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) December 7, 2017
Last week, the Seattle City Council, in a 7-to-1 vote, approved renovations on KeyArena. The $660 million dollar renovation should begin in 2018 and be completed by 2020.
With an application for expansion approved, Seattle can begin the next part of the process, which is to start a season ticket drive. The format is the same as to what the Las Vegas Golden Knights went through when they began the expansion process.
Bettman says the process with Seattle will be similar to Vegas starting with ticket drive. No guarantees yet but the process has begun in terms of due diligence of Seattle
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 7, 2017
Well, there is one difference between the two. The fee for Las Vegas to file for expansion was $500 million. The fee for Seattle to file for expansion—if that time comes—will be $650 million. that’s $150 million more than Las Vegas. Another way to look at it is that each NHL team would get $20.9 million.
Was anyone really wondering why the league would expand so fast since Las Vegas?
Joe Rodgers of the Sportingnews.com reported that Commissioner Gary Bettman said, “It does not mean that we are opening a new expansion process. We will let them make a case and if they also want to try to do a study for selling season tickets, they can.”
Expanding to another NHL market would give the league balance in its two conferences. Currently, there are 31 teams, with the Eastern Conference at 16 teams and the Western Conference at 15 teams.
If it all works out, Seattle could have an NHL team kicking off the 2020-21 season at KeyArena.