Seattle has scored a major win in its quest to be awarded an NHL franchise.
Per Chris Daniels of KING 5 News, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday the league’s executive committee has recommended Seattle receive an expansion team.
Per TSN Sports’ Frank Seravalli, Bettman said “everyone’s goal” is to have a franchise in Seattle by 2020.
Per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press, a group of stakeholders who are attempting to bring an NHL team to Seattle met with the league’s board of governors executive committee for two hours Tuesday to present its case for the city.
“I’m very confident we’re going to be able to move forward and get what we need from the NHL and the team and stick to the schedule so we have hockey in 2020,” Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan said. “They know we want it in 2020 and [the league would] like to have it in 2020, too, if we get the team.”
Whyno added the NHL will determine the next steps, which could include a full vote of each team owner as soon as Dec. 3 to decide if Seattle will be awarded a franchise.
The Oak View Group conducted a test in March with the goal of reaching 10,000 deposits on season tickets for a future NHL expansion team. The NHL Seattle on Twitter account announced the day season ticket deposits were made available that it took 12 minutes to hit that mark, and the total climbed over 25,000 on the first day.
The Seattle City Council approved a renovation plan for the KeyArena last month that will allow it to serve as the home for a potential NHL franchise.
There are 31 NHL teams, and the Las Vegas Knights are the newest addition, having made their debut during the 2017-18 season.
Seattle hasn’t had a professional hockey team since the Seattle Metropolitans played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915 to 1924.