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

Columbia Basin Trust offering grants for Community Outdoor Revitalization

Whether it’s a downtown core, plaza or waterfront, outdoor public spaces help… Continue reading

Letter to the editor: Council ignoring policing needs

Local resident “appalled” at the lack of budget increases for the RCMP

Okanagan ski resort officials displeased with Family Day roll-out

From one peak of the Okanagan to the other, resort officials have raised concerns

The New Groovement to play Revelstoke

The genre-bending mash-up of the funkiest, booty-shaking dance music to take over River City Pub

Lynx slinks across Penticton street in broad daylight

A Facebook users captures a lynx on camera near Penticton

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Highway 97 north of Summerland could be open by end of week

Detour in place as crews continue to clear rock slide and stabilize area

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATE: Missing snowshoer identified as 39-year-old Surrey man

Search suspend because of bad weather on Mount Seymour

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Bomb threats, gunfire, kidnapping: Drug war rocks Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP battles a series of violent events

B.C. hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of Ryan Reynolds

Tatum’s picture left in recycling bin, replaced with photo of Ryan Reynolds

Most Read