Seattle Expansion process has begun
Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Seattle seems likely to get the next NHL expansion team as fans put deposits down on season tickets in quick fashion on Thursday.

Seattle is getting closer to become a reality as fans put down deposits for tickets in record time.

Frank Seravalli of TSN reported that fans crushed the goal of 10,000 season-ticket deposits within 12 minutes of the opening of Thursday’s sale, which was green-lighted by the NHL. Some 25,000 down payments of either $500 or $1,000 were collected in the first hour, despite an expected arena capacity of 17,500. Demand was so high that Ticketmaster’s system crashed.

The go-ahead to obtain season ticket deposits was approved last month when the Oak View Group, backed by billionaire David Bonderman and Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer submitted a formal application for expansion last month along with a $10 million application fee.

This is the first expansion process since the very successful Vegas Golden Knights expansion was approved. For good or bad, everything Seattle does is being compared to Las Vegas. In this case, the process has exceeded what Las Vegas has done during their deposit period.

Seravalli reported that “The Golden Knights collected 5,000 deposits in two days in 2015 and maxed out at 10,000 in approximately 90 days. Seattle hauled in two and a half times that total in the first hour.”

The Seattle based company welcomed deposit from addresses outside of the Seattle area, unlike Las Vegas who only took deposits from local addresses, allowing fans from Canada to put deposits down for tickets. Vancouver Canucks General manager Trevor Linden was excited to get another rivalry partner saying in December, “To have a freeway rivalry would be great.”

The Seattle team will have a hefty expansion fee, $650 million, which is $150 million more then Las Vegas paid for their expansion fee.

The Seattle franchise will begin a $660 million renovation at Key Arena in anticipation of the new team beginning play in 2020-21 season.

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