Seattle Will Make Its NHL Debut In 2021

Seattle Got The All Clear Sign.

Now that National Hockey League owners and league players have decided to wait until 2022 and see if they can work out a collective bargaining agreement without an owners’ lockout or a players’ strike, it is full steam ahead for the backers of the Seattle expansion franchise. The team will be on ice in 2021 and there will be no delay in putting the product on the market.  That might have been a concern as the Seattle owners wanted to get onto the ice initially in 2020. But Seattle’s arena is being rebuilt and there was no guarantee that it would be ready for the 2020-2021 season. Seattle will have a major league winter franchise for the first time since the National Basketball Association allowed Clayton Bennett to negotiate out of his agreement to play in the city’s arena in 2008 with two years remaining on the lease. Two Seattle SuperSonics owners attempted to get a new NBA arena built and were rebuffed. The NBA is in no hurry to return to Seattle although that might change in about five years when a new TV deal and a new collective bargaining agreement have been negotiated.

Seattle is a rich market with plenty of corporate money and the market is big enough to get a good TV deal. Seattle has the three requirements to run a successful franchise. There is government support as evidenced with the rebuilding of the arena. Seattle is a good TV market. Seattle’s corporate market is pretty significant.  The NHL will get a Pacific Northwest United States market, one the league wanted in the 1970s but never materialized. The NHL did award Seattle an expansion team for the 1976-77 season but there was a money issue and Seattle was forgotten. Seattle has the money to be a successful National Hockey League franchise.

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(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
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