National Hockey League approves Seattle team backed by billionaire Bonderman for 2021 season

Marcus Newton
December 7, 2018

Seattle has had multiple other minor-league teams, and come close to adding an NHL franchise at various times prior to this year.

The NHL will make the Emerald City the home for its 32nd franchise after Seattle's expansion bid was approved by the league's Board of Governors.

The team will play in the Pacific division, with the Arizona Coyotes moving over to the Central division to make space, and will have the same expansion draft rules as the Vegas Golden Knights.

The yet-to-be-named team will play in the Seattle Center Arena, and the ownership company isn't wasting time on a facelift for their home rink-$800 million in renovations, which were pending National Hockey League approval, is set to begin on Wednesday.

We took a look at a potential 2020 expansion draft for the Devils over the summer, but the Totems/Sasquatch/Teen Spirits/TBD will not begin playing until the 2021-22 season.

Dave Tippett, an adviser for the ownership group who had a front row seat for all the behind the scenes work that went into the pitch to the National Hockey League, joined the fans in Seattle while his bosses were in Georgia.

A three-quarters vote of the current 31 owners is needed to confirm Seattle as the league's newest franchise.

The news means that Seattle will have a representative in three of the four USA major leagues, with the Seattle NHL outfit set to join the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL) and the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB), along with the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer (MLS).

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The only winter professional sports franchise in the city, Seattle's hockey team joins a crowded landscape that includes the NFL's Seahawks, MLB's Mariners and the Sounders of Major League Soccer.

"We have momentum, and this is a business of recruitment", Leiweke said.

KeyArena, which was home to the NBA's SuperSonics before they moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, is primed to undergo a massive $800-million renovation, up from the previously stated $700 million.

As CEO Tod Leiweke said, "That's when we all knew that this was the right idea".

"I was always optimistic but I didn't think it was ever a guarantee". Obviously, Seattle's a great city. The new expansion team, now without a name, is scheduled to begin play in the 2021-2022 season as a member of the Pacific Division. "If it was someplace else, I wouldn't have done it".

The yet-to-be-named Seattle club will play in the Western Conference's Pacific Division.

The belief at the moment is that the arena will be ready to open for concerts and the WNBA Storm in the spring of 2021, starting the revenue stream that must pay off construction debt over the 39-year length of the lease. "That's why today happened". "As we went through application process and got more and more information and did our due diligence process on the Seattle market, it certainly became even more attractive".

It will also pick up on a hockey history in the city.

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