By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The National Hockey League announced Seattle, Washington will receive an expansion team. The new Seattle team will begin playing hockey in the 2021-22 season.
This new expansion team will be the NHL’s 32nd team. The Board of Governors approved the franchise in a unanimous vote in Sea Island, Georgia.
“Today is an exciting and historic day for our league as we expand to one of North America’s most innovative, beautiful, and fastest-growing cities,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “And we are thrilled that Seattle, a city with a proud hockey history that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup, is finally joining the NHL.”
The Seattle team will be owned by David Bonderman, who will serve as the majority stakeholder. Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and CEO Tod Leiweke are also part of the ownership group.
These three individuals paid a $650-million expansion fee. The Vegas Golden Knights, in comparison, paid $500 million two-years ago for an expansion team.
The team will play at KeyArena, the former home of the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics. The SuperSonics left a decade ago to become the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Presently, the WNBA’s Seattle Storm calls the arena home. The Seattle University Redhawks men’s basketball team also is a current tenant.
KeyArena is going through an $800-million renovation. This caused the team to move to the 2021-22 season instead of playing in 2020-21.
Seattle reportedly submitted the expansion paperwork in February. They have also reportedly received 30,000 deposits for season tickets, according to CBC Sports.
Like the Golden Knights, this Seattle franchise will be the 16th team in the Western Conference. With the 16 teams, they will have the same exact amount of teams compared to the Eastern Conference.
The 32 teams also ties the NFL for the most teams in a professional sports league. The Arizona Coyotes will also relocate from the Pacific Division to the Central Division once Seattle starts play.
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