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

Chemainus Cougars qualify for Island senior boys basketball tournament

Heroics by captain Simpson and Harris lead to challenge victory over Campbell River Christian

It’s a lovebeat at Daponte’s Valentine’s Day show

Heavy snow outside blurs the lines of exactly what occasion was being celebrated

Back to school for Vancouver Island’s snow-covered kids, more snow coming

All school districts in business this morning but officials warn another 5-10 centimetres today

Ongoing 18-year road trip a test of relationship endurance

Dale and Jeanette Hillis hitch up their fifth wheel and remained hitched through thick and thin

True love knows no bounds after 66 years of marriage

Danny and Pam Dyke met under interesting circumstances and still going strong

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read