Team and city officials in Seattle have already secured more than 30,000 season-ticket deposits and received approvals from local government for arena plans. The still-unnamed team will begin play in the 2021-22 season, while construction on their future home, the Seattle Center Arena, will begin Wednesday. Many expect the Arizona Coyotes to be moved to the Central Division in 2021 when Seattle enters the league.
"Today is an exciting and historic day for our League as we expand to one of North America's most innovative, attractive and fastest-growing cities", NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
"The NHL is thrilled to welcome you", NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said at press conference on Tuesday.
The board's nine-member executive committee recommended proceeding with the expansion application back in October after a presentation that included Bonderman, Bruckheimer and Leiweke.
The owners will pay a $650 million expansion fee, up from the $500 million the Vegas Golden Knights paid to join the league just two years ago.
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The NHL's newest franchise will join Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners and the WNBA's Seattle Storm in the city. Strong ownership led by billionaire David Bonderman and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a downtown arena in a sports-crazed city and a season-ticket drive that drummed up 10,000 orders in 12 minutes all cleared the way for the National Hockey League to add another team less than three years after approving a franchise in Las Vegas.
He was right. LeBrun followed up later by saying the league voted unanimously on Seattle's expansion.
The Seattle franchise will be added to the Pacific Division in the Western Conference in 2021-22, with the Arizona Coyotes moving to the Central Division.
"This can work long term", Seattle Hockey President and CEO Tod Leiweke said. The NHL announced back in March that any potential expansion draft for Seattle would be conducted under the same rules that Vegas was given upon their entrance into the league, though Vegas will be exempt from the process. Seattle will be getting Cup Crazy in June 2022? The amount of wealth now in the Seattle market is part of the reason Tim Leiweke, Tod's older brother and the CEO of event facilities giant Oak View Group, has regularly calls the city one of the most enticing expansion opportunities in pro sports history. Nevertheless, the idea of Pacific Northwest hockey rivalry between Seattle and Vancouver is pretty cool. He said simply that expansion is appropriate when it adds value to the league.