Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

The group looking to bring an NHL team to Seattle will have to wait a little longer to get the rubber stamp.

It’s long been thought conditional approval for an expansion franchise in the Emerald City could come at the Board of Governors meetings next month. But NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says that plan has changed.

“Is it going to be on the June agenda? No,” he told Tim Booth and Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press. “After that, could it be September? Could it be the annual meeting in December? It’s possible.”

Back in March, as Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group (along with investors David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer) celebrated a successful ticket drive, both Leiweke and Bruckheimer mentioned the June meetings as the next hurdle to clear. However, Bettman told the AP this week the league is going to take its time.

“What we have said to the people – David Bonderman’s (Oak View Group) – is we’re on your timetable,” Bettman said, adding that the NHL still has plenty of work to do on the matter.

“We have to finish doing our due diligence and our homework. We need to have the timetable understanding as to when the building’s going to get done. We can move as fast or as slowly as you want. There’s no rush.”

Bettman said OVG has some work to do as well, including overseeing the redevelopment of Seattle’s KeyArena.

“We’re in the middle of the process. They’re doing their homework, and they’re proceeding on two fronts because they’ve got to renovate a building and they’ve got to pursue the team and they’re doing both very nicely. They’re working with the city, they hired (CEO of the prospective team) Tod Leiweke.”

Seattle fans responded in full force on March 1, putting down 10,000 deposits in the first 12 minutes of the ownership group’s ticket drive.

If the NHL grants the city an expansion club, it would likely begin play in the 2020-21 season.


A new city has emerged as a possible site for NBA expansion.

One league executive told SEC Network’s Jarrett Sutton that Kansas City will inevitably be awarded a franchise, as it’s viewed as the NBA’s most valuable market for league expansion, alongside Seattle.

The Kings called Kansas City home from 1972 to 1985 before moving on to Sacramento. The city has an arena which opened in 2007 that can hold approximately 19,000 people. It’s currently going unused.

Meanwhile, conversations of an eventual return to Seattle do seem realistic, as the city is preparing an arena that is awaiting a franchise to fill the seats.

Seattle previously hosted the SuperSonics from 1967 to 2008. The franchise was relocated to Oklahoma City due to a lack of funding for a new stadium.

A move into Mexico City has also gained traction over the last year, with the NBA expected to place a G League franchise south of the border. It’s possible it will be used as a tester to gauge the plausibility of big-league expansion.

Former NFL chief operating officer Tod Leiweke has been named CEO and president of the prospective NHL franchise expected to arrive in Seattle in the near future, he confirmed at a press conference Wednesday.

Leiweke’s brother, Tim, is leading the charge for the $600-million renovation of KeyArena as head of the Oak View Group.

Tod has prior experience in the Pacific Northwest as the former CEO of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, and is excited to be involved.

“It’s an incredible thrill to come home, Leiweke said, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. “Not just for me but for my family.”

Seattle’s group proposal to the NHL is still under review, though its expected to be awarded the league’s 32nd franchise in June at a cost of $650 million. The goal is to have the team on the ice for the 2020-21 season.

If Seattle is granted the next NHL franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights aren’t expected to lose a player or receive a cut of the expansion fee.

There’s no reason to expect Vegas would be put in a position to lose a player, as they won’t be getting a share of the $650-million fee Oak View Group would pay if their application is accepted, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

That was part of the agreement between the NHL and Golden Knights owner Bill Foley when he was awarded the 31st club, per the report. The other 30 teams would get $21.67 million each from Seattle after receiving $16.67 million when Vegas entered the league.

Commissioner Gary Bettman told GMs last month that any potential future Seattle expansion draft would operate under the same conditions as the one Vegas completed last June.

An expansion draft is unlikely to take place before June 2020.

OVG has already filed its expansion application. It received 10,000 season-ticket deposits within 12 minutes of opening its season-ticket drive on March 1.

Tim Leiweke says hockey fans in Seattle made a big-time statement Thursday.

The CEO of Oak View Group, which is overseeing the renovation of KeyArena, implied as much to Sportsnet’s Irfaan Gaffar after fans made 10,000 season-ticket deposits in the first 12 minutes of the ticket drive and 25,000 overall on Thursday.

“Congratulations to Seattle. The fans have spoken, and now we’ll go through the process with (NHL) Commissioner (Gary) Bettman to hit the other milestones that we need to hit and hopefully by June (we’ll) be able to deliver a team to this town, because I think today they proved they want it and they’re worthy of it, “Leiweke said.

The longtime sports executive admitted he was surprised by how quickly the goal of 10,000 was met after the season-ticket drive opened at 10 a.m. PST.

“I’m shocked … 12 minutes, that’s pretty amazing. It shows you the pent-up demand for hockey in the Northwest,” Leiweke said, before adding that he really shouldn’t have been too shocked considering the rapid growth of the Seattle market.

“We have 35 million people that are part of our base here, and so we’re really excited about the ability to (possibly) be the regional team, but I think it also shows you how quickly Seattle’s (growing),” he said.

“It’s the fastest growing city in North America. When you drive around this city and you see the cranes, I don’t think you should be surprised and shocked. It’s an amazing place, it’s an amazing city, and it has an amazing future in front of it, and we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it.”

Leiweke also expressed pride in Seattle’s hockey fans, specifically.

“(I’m) really proud of the marketplace. What a resounding message they (sent) back to the other 31 (team) owners and to Commissioner Bettman, but now the exciting part gets to start.”

The prospective Seattle ownership group, which also includes renowned Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and investment company billionaire David Bonderman, submitted its formal NHL expansion application last month.

If the NHL rewards Seattle an expansion franchise, it will face the same parameters as the Vegas Golden Knights when it comes to selecting a team, commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday, per TSN’s Farhan Lalji.

In case you’ve forgotten the rules, each team was allowed to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie – or eight skaters and one goaltender – leaving the Golden Knights to pluck one player per franchise to fill their inaugural roster.

Additionally, all first- and second-year players were exempt, while any roster player with a no-movement clause had to be protected unless they agreed to waive it.

Seattle’s ownership group officially submitted it’s application to the league – which included a $10-million fee – in early February and will kick off its season-ticket drive March 1.

Hockey fans in the Northwest will soon be able to secure a chance to witness an inaugural season in Seattle.

The group leading the charge to bring an expansion franchise to the city will begin taking deposits on season tickets March 1, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan announced Tuesday.

Prices range from $500 to $1,000, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

After receiving approval from the NHL Board of Governors in December, the Oak View Group, who spearheaded plans to redevelop KeyArena, officially submitted an expansion bid that included a $10-million down payment earlier this month.

There has yet to be a verdict on the application.