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The city of Seattle is reportedly one step closer to having an NHL team.
On Tuesday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported Seattle’s ownership group formally filed a $10 million down payment and an application for an NHL expansion team.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic noted there are still a number of steps before any pucks drop in the Emerald City, including the official review of the application, “due diligence” from the league, review from an executive committee and a recommendation to the board.
Despite the remaining steps, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan weighed in on the news:
Mayor Jenny Durkan @MayorJenny
Excited to share the news that @OvgSeattle completed their application to the @NHL – one step closer to bringing another great sports team to our City and revitalizing @SeattleCenter #NHLtoSeattle https://t.co/MOFVO1229I
There is no team in the state of Washington or any bordering states, and, while the Vancouver Canucks are somewhat nearby, a team in Seattle would give the NHL a stateside presence in the Pacific Northwest.
A TSN report provided additional details, noting the team would potentially take the ice in the 2020-21 season at KeyArena, where the SuperSonics played in the NBA. It also pointed out the NHL’s Board of Governors deemed the price for an expansion fee would be $650 million for Seattle, which is significantly more than the $500 million fee for the Vegas Golden Knights.
According to TSN, the league invited the Seattle ownership group to apply for expansion in December. The prospective ownership group includes Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
An expansion team in Seattle would represent the 32nd team in the NHL.