Seattle can begin NHL expansion process


A Seattle ownership group has been authorized to file an application for an NHL expansion team, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday.

The fee would be $650 million, and Commissioner Bettman said the NHL is looking at only Seattle for possible expansion.

The Seattle City Council approved a $600 million renovation to KeyArena on Monday. The arena, which opened in 1962, was the home to the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics from 1967-78 and 1985-2008 prior to them relocating to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season.

Seattle would become the 32nd NHL team.

There could be a preliminary ticket drive, Commissioner Bettman said, similar to the one conducted by the Vegas Golden Knights before they were awarded an expansion team that began play this season. The Vegas expansion fee was $500 million.

Although Seattle has never had an NHL team, the Seattle Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915-24, won the Stanley Cup in 1917, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in a best-of-5 series.

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