National Hockey League says Seattle can apply for franchise, start season-ticket drive

San Jose Sharks

The iconic sloped roof of KeyArena, center, a sports and entertainment venue at the Seattle Center, is seen from above Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Seattle.

Durkan told reporters Wednesday the deal with Los Angeles-based Oak View Group is the best path for Seattle to get an National Hockey League team and bring back the NBA.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters on Thursday that the league's board of governors have agreed to accept/consider an expansion application from Seattle and allow billionaire David Bonderman and his group of investors to conduct a season ticket drive.

Bettman said the expansion fee has been set at US$650 million for Seattle, which would become the league's 32nd team.

What Bettman is asking of Seattle isn't all that different of the Vegas Golden Knights, who are now in their inaugural season and are in second place in the Pacific Division. "This is a process that we go through". The Vegas expansion fee was $500 million. The Vegas Golden Knights began operations this season and are in the playoff chase.

There are no guarantees yet for an National Hockey League team, but the process has begun in terms of due diligence of Seattle.

Bettman said the group is only looking at Seattle for expansion, leaving Quebec City and Houston alone. "Our plan is just to look at Seattle at this point".

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, the NHL said. But that's not something we're focused on right now. "But I think there is a lot of pent up appetite in Seattle for this", Durkan said.

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