A big day for Seattle NHL fans.
The National Hockey League could grant Seattle a conditional franchise today. But the people behind the Seattle NHL expansion bid already have NHL ties so it would be fairly hard for the NHL to say listen Oak View Group we thank you for your expansion fee but no thanks. Oak View Group has hired the NHL’s most powerful owner Boston’s Jeremy Jacobs’ Delaware North business to provide concessions in the Seattle arena that Oak View Group is rebuilding. Oak View Group has a partner in Madison Square Garden in the concert business and has joined with the New York Islanders ownership in the construction of the team’s proposed arena at Belmont Park on the New York City, Nassau County border. The Oak View Group has now scored the New York area hat trick by partnering with Elevate, a ticket company partially owned by the New Jersey Devils co-owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer. Oak View Group has at least four backers in NHL ownership.
Seattle has the three requirements to run a successful franchise. There is government support as evidenced with the rebuilding of the arena. Seattle has a good TV market and the NHL franchise, once Seattle gets the team, will have a pretty good financial TV deal. Seattle’s corporate market is growing and is pretty significant. The NHL team should get solid support from the big names in the market which include Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon among others. There is a built-in rivalry with Vancouver which is about three hours north on I-5 from Seattle. The NHL will get a Pacific Northwest United States market, one the league wanted in the 1970s but that never materialized. The NHL awarded Seattle an expansion team for the 1976-77 season but there was a money issue and Seattle was forgotten. The Oak View Group has the right stuff for the NHL in Seattle.
Seattle figures to be a step closer to landing an NHL team.