National Hockey League unanimously approves expansion to Seattle for 2021-22 season

National Hockey League unanimously approves expansion to Seattle for 2021-22 season

Bettman and company have not only made a lot of friends on the west coast with an NHL team bound for Seattle, but he has no doubt strengthened his relationship with the league's board of governors.

Barr was among fans watching Tuesday morning as Seattle was awarded an NHL expansion franchise following a unanimous vote by the Board of Governors in Sea Island, Georgia, ending a lengthy dance between the league and the city that will finally see professional hockey return to the city. According to Bettman, Seattle will be afforded the same advantages that Vegas had in being able to draft quality players from other teams, with one minor wrinkle: the Golden Knights, who are in their second season, won't be losing anyone.

Seattle pushed to begin play in 2020-21, but the National Hockey League rejected the proposal based on trepidation about the $700 million renovation to downtown KeyArena being completed on that schedule. Apparently, the league doesn't want to cause any confusion with the Metropolitan Division, especially now that Seattle will be in the Pacific Division, with Arizona moving to the Central to make room. The rules for the latest expansion draft, including how many players teams will be allowed to protect, will be announced at a later date.

Seattle Hockey Partners will pay NHL owners $650 million to join.

"When you're a year or two out, everything continues to evolve", Tippett said.

The official grant of the franchise Tuesday puts largely to rest about a century of caterwauling, finagling, duplicitousness, mendacity, grandstanding, errors of fact and fiction, temporary successes and abject failures regarding major league hockey - and major league basketball - and Seattle.

Helin notes that the only way a Seattle franchise could play in the National Basketball Association right now is if a current team is sold and relocated, earmarking the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans as teams to watch out for. "And we all agreed that it was better to get the building done right".

"I love Seattle", said Bonderman, who has deep ties to the city. Leiweke said arena renovations will cost $800 million and the addition of a state-of-the-art practice facility makes it a total investment of over $1.5 billion.

"We're not looking right now and I think for the foreseeable future at any further expansion", Bettman said. "If it was someplace else, I wouldn't have done it".

Already more than 30,000 people have made season ticket deposits.

Seattle is now home to a Western Hockey League team, the Seattle Thunderbirds. The team will begin playing in the 2021-2022 season. More than 100 years later, they'll have that chance again. "Seattle is one of North American's great sports towns, and we're about to become one of its great hockey towns".

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

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