NHL Allows Seattle to Apply for Expansion Team

Ann Santiago
December 9, 2017

That doesn't mean that we have granted an expansion team. "We do our homework, we evaluate it, we examine all of the aspects".

The league has agreed to review the application, has set a $650 million expansion fee and now will gauge progress by the Seattle group in coming months before deciding whether to award a franchise to this market.

"Obviously, there a lot of differences between Seattle and Quebec City, not the least of which is our conference alignment", Bettman said. I think the rivalry with Vancouver as a potential would be nice. "But we've got homework to do".

The NHL was specific in pointing out that Seattle is likely an expansion team, not a relocation like some had speculated.

"Evaluating the market, the arena, the ownership, the impact on the league is something that we'll go through", said Bettman.

The NHL's board of governors met for two days this week at a beachside resort in Southern Florida. Previously, the city of Las Vegas paid $500 million for the Golden Knights expansion team that took the ice for the first time this season. The Nordiques left town for Colorado in 1995. "If I wanted to be positive, I'd say one of the things we kept harping on is that we need another team in the West before we consider expanding in the East". And it seemed all anyone wanted to talk about is which city could be getting a new National Hockey League franchise (and which ones won't) - as well as if any teams could be on the move.

Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan said she spoke with Tim Leiweke, part of the Oak View Group that got approval to renovate KeyArena, and that they "couldn't be more thrilled".

The group that will apply for a Seattle team includes Jerry Bruckheimer, a Hollywood producer, and David Bonderman, a private equity CEO. If Seattle enters the league (the goal is for the 2020-21 season) the league is projecting the worth of a franchise to be 30 percent higher.

Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. and Dallas billionaire Tom Dundon made a presentation to the executive committee of the NHL's board of governors this morning in Manalapan, Fla.

"If we don't have a franchise a year from now, they should take me and put me on top of that arena and while they start tearing that arena down, they should let me dive into the middle of the rubble because I haven't done my job", said Leiweke this week.

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