Gary Bettman announces National Hockey League is open to expansion process in Seattle

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NHL has agreed to accept and consider an expansion application for Seattle, the league announced Thursday.

The NHL has officially allowed the city of Seattle to submit an application for an NHL expansion team, according to league commissioner Gary Bettman.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the franchise fee for the 32nd club has been set at $650 million USA, up significantly from the $500 million United States the Vegas Golden Knights paid to join the league this season.

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The group includes Jerry Bruckheimer, a Hollywood producer, and David Bonderman, a private equity CEO. "We will let them make a case and if they also want to try to do a study for selling season tickets, they can", Bettman said. Las Vegas' cost $500 million.

"It is envisioned that the terms of an expansion agreement, would it go forward, would basically be the same as Las Vegas-except the price", Bettman said at the league's Board of Governors meeting, per Kaplan.

After the news that the Seattle City Council had approved the renovation plan to KeyArena, Seattle immediately became the hottest free agent of all the cities on the market.

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Although Seattle has never had an NHL team, the Seattle Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915-24, won the Stanley Cup in 1917, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in a best-of-5 series.

The current closest National Hockey League team to Seattle is the Vancouver Canucks, a team that isn't even in the country.

If Seattle is unsuccessful during this expansion process, they also may be considered as an option for relocation during the 2020-21 season, Bettman says.

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