Third times the charm. The city of Seattle will be welcoming the NHL's 32ndfranchise starting in the 2021-2022 season after the NHL's board of governors unanimously approved the team today. After two failing attempts to establish themselves in 1974 and 1990 due to financial troubles. Seattle's team will be led by billionaire investor, David Bonderman; Hollywood producer, Jerry Bruckheimer; and, sports executive, Tom Leiweke. The new owners will pay an expansion fee of $650M that will be spread among the other 31 teams. Also, the city council approved the $700M plan to completely refurbish KeyArena in the downtown area.
The new Seattle team, name to be determined, will join the Pacific Division in the Western Conference as the Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central Division. The addition to the Western Conference will balance the two conferences at 16 teams each.
The city of Seattle is an attractive marketplace being the 15thlargest metropolitan city in the U.S. with 3.7M people and growing; being the home for several fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Costco, and Starbucks. The city will be the first NHL franchise in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Let's not be surprised to see Seattle welcome back an NBA franchise in the near future from the owners now that they have invested in a refurbished area. Fans and celebrities have been huge advocates for an NBA team back in Seattle. The NBA even seems to back the addition of the association moving back to the city. In the preseason, the Warriors played against the Kings in the Emerald City. The exhibition match sold 12,000 tickets in the first hour of sales with Kevin Durant making his return to the city he played in for one season as a rookie before the Supersonics were moved to Oklahoma City. The preseason game brought out celebrities from all over the United States and Supersonics legend Gary Payton.