February 13, 2018 | 7:20pm ET
SEATTLE OWNERSHIP GROUP SUBMITS NHL APPLICATION
Seattle arena rendering
The City of Seattle is inching closer to becoming the 32nd market in the NHL, as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan confirmed Oak View Group Seattle submitted its expansion application to the NHL.
The application comes with a $10 million fee, $2 million of which is nonrefundable. If an expansion team is awarded, the $10 million goes against the expansion fee, which is believed to be $650 million – Las Vegas’ ownership group, led by Bill Foley, paid $500 million for their expansion franchise.
Mayor Durkan tweeted the news and added the city is “one step closer to bringing another great sports team to our City and revitalizing @SeattleCenter #NHLtoSeattle.”
The Oak View Group, led by former AEG President and CEO and former MLSE President and CEO Tim Leiweke, agreed in December to privately finance the $600 million renovation of KeyArena, which will be renamed once arena naming rights are sold.
The OVG has also partnered billionaire investment banker David Bonderman and Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer on the bid to bring an NHL franchise to Seattle.
The NHL will now review the formal application, upon which it may or may not request additional information – it’s possible, and likely, the NHL requests a season ticket drive to be executed in the market to test the city’s appetite for a team.
Once the NHL has completed its due diligence, the application will be formally reviewed and put in front of the League’s Executive Committee, upon which the committee’s recommendations will be presented to the Board of Governors, who will vote on expanding to Seattle and give the NHL 32 total franchises.
A ticket drive could begin as early as next month.