Seattle to officially get NHL team

West coast city will become 32nd team

The NHL is coming to Seattle.

League commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement on Tuesday at a press conference following the conclusion of the board of governors meetings.

The NHL’s 32nd team was unanimously approved in a vote and will begin play in 2021-22.

Seattle’s ownership group led by billionaire David Bonderman and a number of minority partners, including Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, will pay an expansion fee of $US650 million.

The Vegas Golden Knights paid $500 million when they joined the league in 2016.

READ MORE: To 32 and beyond: Seattle may not be end of NHL expansion

Seattle will play in the Pacific Division, meaning the Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central Division.

The new team gives the NHL an even 16 franchises in the Eastern and Western conferences and will provide the Vancouver Canucks a natural geographic rival for the first time.

Viewed as a slam dunk ahead of the vote, expansion to Seattle — the largest U.S. market without an NHL or NBA team prior to today’s announcement — required 75 per cent approval, in this case a thumbs up from 24 of 31 owners, to pass.

The $650-million expansion fee will be divided up between 30 NHL teams. Vegas does not get a cut of the money and is exempt from the expansion draft.

The board’s nine-member executive committee recommended proceeding with the expansion application back in October after a presentation that included Bonderman, Bruckheimer and Seattle Hockey Partners president and CEO Tod Leiweke.

KeyArena, which was home to the NBA’s SuperSonics before they moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, is primed to undergo a massive $700-million renovation.

A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday in downtown Seattle.

After the NHL said it would consider the potential ownership group’s expansion application at this time last year, a season-ticket drive to gauge interest resulted in a jaw-dropping 32,000 deposits, including 10,000 purchased in the first 12 minutes.

There are also plans to build a $70-million practice facility.

– with files from The Associated Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

City of Wetaskiwin fire chief no longer employed there

Leigh Sawicki was director of emergency services for five years

Wetaskiwin Icemen, The Brick team up for ‘bears’

‘Bear Toss’ for The Stollery Children’s Hospital

Traffic circles: good or bad?

Some say traffic in Alberta doesn’t justify cost of traffic circles

Town of Millet hires new Manager of Enforcement Services

Mitch Newton has over decade of experience in enforcement field

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

No flood of extremist returnees to Canada expected, federal report says

The report says some 190 people with connections to Canada are suspected of terrorist activity abroad

Canadian physicist who won Nobel Prize touts science for the sake of science

Donna Strickland, 59, said securing the field’s highest honour has given her a significant new platform

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

Most Read