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NHL’s 32nd Team: Seattle’s Road Ahead

By Chris,

Earlier in February 2018, it was officially announced that the Oak View Group had applied to forge an NHL expansion team. Following the incredible success of the Vegas Golden Knights this season, both on and off the ice, the hope is that a new team in Seattle will be a huge hit.

But there’s a long road ahead for the group attempting to bring NHL hockey to Seattle, with the aim that they make their league debut in the 2020/21 season.

Application and acceptance

 

Oak View Group and driving forces in billionaire investment banker David Bonderman and Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer have forked out the $10 million application cost and are set to pay $650 million to join the NHL. The group has also laid out plans to renovate the Key Arena to the cost of $600 million to make it suitable for NHL competition but to also leave the door open for basketball – as it was once used for an NBA franchise, the Seattle SuperSonics.

To demonstrate the market interest in the area, Seattle is preparing a season ticket drive. Expected to commence around March 1, Oak View Group is hoping to attain around 14,000 season ticket deposits.

Success of Vegas spurring other investors

 

Back in 2016, it only cost prospective owners $500 million to enter the league and commence the foundations of the Vegas Golden Knights. In the year that the team has entered the NHL, that price has risen by $150 million. The increasing popularity of the sport and the massive amount of interest shown in the new Vegas franchise has helped to make this price worthwhile.

This season, their franchise’s first ever NHL season, the Vegas Golden Knights have taken the league by storm. Their performances on the ice sit the team at the top of the Pacific Division, while their efforts off of the ice – such as the team’s community outreach following the Las Vegas shooting – has helped them to connect to fans in the local area.

Now they’re second favorites at +800 to go all the way and win the Stanley Cup, which has been a popular use of the free bet when at ChampionBets. Fans in Las Vegas have enjoyed an incredible season so far, and the Vegas Golden Knights have managed to garner fans from all over the world thanks to their grand story so far. So, it only makes sense that more investors want to continue to expand the NHL.

Long road ahead for Seattle

 

Once Seattle has demonstrated the market strength in the area, which they’re fully expected to, there is still a lot to get through. There’s the review of the application, the league’s due diligence being conducted, the Executive Committee review, and the recommendation to the board.

Then there’s also the more exciting aspects to consider for the fans, such as which division the Seattle team will compete in. Given their geographical location and the set up of the divisions, Seattle would likely set up in the Pacific Division, alongside the Vegas Golden Knights. This may result in the Arizona Coyotes being bumped over to the Central Division for symmetry’s sake, and possibly some other reshuffles elsewhere.

A team name is yet to be decided, and they’ll want to find a color scheme and team name that is as powerful as that of the Golden Knights. Green has run through Seattle sports teams and seems like the logical choice as a primary color. As for the name, Whales, Seals, Kraken, and Eagles have all been suggested.

Seattle is one of the best locations in the world to find many endangered species of whales, such as the Blue Whale, Fin Whale, and North Pacific Right Whale so a team name in theme with whales would not only be a strong choice for the team and the area, but also raise awareness for these magnificent animals. But, they’d need to avoid stepping on the toes of the Vancouver Canucks’ whale logo or the old Hartford Whalers.

Whatever the Seattle group decide to call their team, ice hockey fans all over the world are very excited to see another strong franchise enter into the NHL.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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