Seattle Is A Step Closer To Getting An NHL Expansion Franchise

One more hurdle.



The Seattle City Council will say yes or no to move ahead and turn over the city owned arena to the Oak View Group for renovation. It is expected that Seattle elected officials will approve the legislation which is the government’s final step in the process. Oak View Group plans to sink $700 million into redoing the building which could eventually be the home of a National Hockey League expansion team in 2020 and possibly a National Basketball Association franchise at some point in the future. A group of Seattle investors will meet with the National Hockey League Board of Governors on October 2 with perhaps their final presentation before NHL owners vote on expansion. The final decision on Seattle’s proposal may be made in December.

There is a what comes first game going on though. The Seattle politicians want the NHL to commit to placing a team in Seattle before they allow the building to be gutted. But if the NHL signals on October 2 that Seattle is virtually assured getting a team, the city council could allow work to renovate the building shortly after the final scheduled event in the building, which is an NBA pre-season game on October 5 between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. 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 Seattle bid has NHL’s owners’ support. The NHL will get a Pacific Northwest United States market, one the league wanted in the 1970s but that 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. In 2018, Seattle has the money to join the National Hockey League.