It’s official, Seattle will be home to the NHL’s 32nd team.
The NHL has confirmed Seattle as the 32nd team after the board of governors voted unanimously in favor of the decision.
“Today is an exciting and historic day for our league as we expand to one of North America’s most innovative, beautiful and fastest-growing cities,” league commissioner Gary Bettman said. “And we are thrilled that Seattle, a city with a proud hockey history that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup, is finally joining the NHL.”
The ownership group, led by majority stakeholder David Bonderman, Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and CEO Tod Leiweke, will pay a $650-million US expansion fee and the team will begin play in the 2021-22 season.
The team will be playing in the KeyArena, former home to the NBA’s SuperSonics. An $800 million renovation plan has been approved for the arena.
Seattle has already secured more than 30,000 deposits for season tickets.
“The league’s expansion decision was only made possible because Seattle will possess the three pillars essential to the success of any franchise: terrific committed ownership, a thriving market and a state-of-the-art venue,” said Bettman.
There will now be 16 teams in the Western Conference, the same amount as the east. You can also expect a slight division realignment. The Arizona Coyotes will move from the Pacific to the Central Division, and Seattle will be in the Pacific.