NHL Greenlights Seattle Expansion Franchise

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The NHL Board of Directors on Tuesday awarded an expansion franchise to Seattle, where the league's 32nd team will play games at a redeveloped KeyArena beginning in the 2021-22 season, just a few blocks away from Amazon's headquarters and offices of other tech giants such as Google and Facebook. The team's ownership group - led by by billionaire businessman David Bonderman - said they'll take their time deciding on a team name, but that certainly hasn't stopped early speculation and input.

Seattle will play in the Pacific Division, meaning the Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central Division.

The move will see the Arizona Coyotes moved to the Western Conference's Central Division, allowing the new Seattle team to start in the eight-team Pacific Division.

Bettman confirmed that the expansion fee will be $650 million, up from the $500 million price tag the Vegas Golden Knights paid when they entered the league.

The Emerald City has checked every box the National Hockey League could ever want since their city council approved a new $700 million arena project past year.

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Seattle submitted its application for expansion in February, and says it has already secured more than 30,000 deposits for season tickets. The as-yet unnamed franchise will be the Emerald City's first major winter sports team since the NBA's SuperSonics left town in 2008.

Seattle will draft one player from every team's roster except for Las Vegas. "And we are thrilled that Seattle, a city with a proud hockey history that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup, is finally joining the NHL".

That's a sign revenues are continuing to rise after the success of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. Seattle will be getting Cup Crazy in June 2022? NHL Seattle CEO and president Tod Leiweke told 710 ESPN Seattle's Danny, Dave and Moore in October that the name (and presumably colors, logos and merchandise) will probably be unveiled in the spring. Preliminary work has been underway on the arena since an agreement between Oak View Group and the city of Seattle was finalized in late September, but the heavy work can now get started.

There are also plans to build a $70-million practice facility. Believe it or not, there are no permanent public ice rinks inside the Seattle city limits, but that will change with the training center, which will feature a grand total of three rinks.

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