With the NHL's unsurprising, yet monumental announcement Thursday that it will accept applications from Seattle to host an expansion team, it's only a matter of time before the Vegas Golden Knights are usurped as the league's newest franchise.
The commissioner also noted that Seattle would be on the hook for a $650 million expansion fee should it be accepted as the 32nd team. But that doesn't mean there is a lack of speculative alternatives on the table.
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.
"The League has never been healthier", Commissioner Bettman said.
The ticket drive would be to determine how much interest for a pro hockey team there is in Seattle.
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The group submitting the application is led by film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer and investment banker David Bonderman. (Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the fee is different because of the market and because of inflation.) Basically, this is the same process that prefigured the Vegas Golden Knights' birth, and barring anything unexpected, this feels inevitable. The move marks the latest step toward the end of Karmanos lengthy attempt to sell the team he moved from Hartford, Conn., to North Carolina two decades ago. This statement is backed up by a clause in the agreement in which new owners can not apply for relocation for seven years. "This is a process that we go through".
Tingling said he could see a situation where the Seattle NHL franchise markets to the upscale Vancouver crowd, focusing on weekend games where Vancouverites could drive down to the city, watch a game and stay the night in a hotel while shopping and sightseeing in Seattle.
He went on to say regarding the possible Seattle expansion, "Among the other features we have in the agreement are that if we decide in the 2020-21 season instead of expanding we'd like to use an existing franchise, that's always an option". So it seems this is the expected outcome.
The NHL brought in a salary cap after the 2004-05 lockout, which stood at $39 million in its first season.
According to Bettman, the search for a new arena to allow the Arizona Coyotes to remain in the Grand Canyon state are proceeding and there are no plans to re-locate the franchise.