Team owners, meeting at a resort in Sea Island, Ga., voted 31-0 Tuesday to make Seattle their 32nd franchise, a milestone event in a sordid civic saga.
The expansion has been in the works for awhile, and the team will debut in the 2021-22 season, playing home games at Seattle Center Arena.
David Bonderman will serve as the principal owner of the new franchise, who will play their games at the Seattle Center Arena, which is now undergoing renovations. The new franchise will participate in an expansion draft in 2021 when they will look to assemble a competitive roster ahead of their inaugural season.
"Today is an exciting and historic day for our League as we expand to one of North America's most innovative, handsome and fastest-growing cities", NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
The other National Hockey League owners now get to spilt a US$650-million expansion fee, on top of the US$500-million they divvied up from Vegas. In 1917, the franchise become the first US -based team to win the Stanley Cup after defeating the Montreal Canadiens for the title. Seattle is the largest market in the country without a winter pro sports franchise and has seen an influx of wealth in recent years.
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The Arizona Coyotes are set to move into the Central Division once the new Seattle franchise begins to play from the 2021/22 season - giving the team just over two more seasons in the Pacific.
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. That's when we all knew that this was the right idea. A season-ticket drive last spring had to be cut off at more than 30,000 deposits. I really like the usage of the Seattle Seahawks colors here.
Seattle's new ownership group plans to have the team's venue and training facility built by the time of the 2021-2022 season. They're doing all the right things in terms of building a new arena, or revitalizing KeyArena.
"There's obviously a lot of good teams in all the divisions, but I think it will be cool to play St. Louis a little bit more, being from there", said Keller, who grew up in Chesterfield, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, and leads the Coyotes with eight goals and 18 points. "If it was someplace else, I wouldn't have done it". "Seattle is one of North American's great sports towns, and we're about to become one of its great hockey towns". More than 100 years later, they'll have that chance again. But today I think about the fans.
Seattle also has a junior hockey league, the Thunderbirds.