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Seattle applies for NHL expansion team

Officially begins process to join League at cost of $650 million @NHLdotcom

Seattle has applied for an NHL expansion team.

"Excited to share the news that [Oak View Group] Seattle completed their application to the NHL," Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Tuesday. "One step closer to bringing another great sports team to our City and revitalizing Seattle Center."

A group led by Jerry Bruckheimer, a Hollywood producer, and David Bonderman, a private equity CEO, was authorized Dec. 7 to file an application for expansion by the NHL Board of Governors. It paid a $10 million application fee, Sportsnet reported.

"OVG has submitted to the NHL the formal application papers required to pursue an expansion franchise for Seattle," group CEO Tim Leiweke said in a statement, according to USA Today. "We are excited for the next steps in the process and our continued partnership with the City of Seattle."

Tweet from @MayorJenny: Excited to share the news that @OvgSeattle completed their application to the @NHL - one step closer to bringing another great sports team to our City and revitalizing @SeattleCenter #NHLtoSeattle

The cost of the team would be $650 million, and Commissioner Gary Bettman said during 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend last month that the NHL is looking at only Seattle for possible expansion. The earliest the team could begin playing is the 2020-21 NHL season, when it is expected renovations of KeyArena would be complete.

"The timetable in terms of filing an expansion application, doing a season-ticket drive, is largely up to them," Commissioner Bettman said Jan. 27. "We can respond to the extent that we're getting the information on a timely basis, whatever that timetable is, so we can go through the processes that we have to."

Commissioner Bettman said he thinks if Seattle were to be granted the 32nd NHL team, he expects it would want the same rules for the NHL Expansion Draft that were granted to the Vegas Golden Knights, who came into the League as the 31st team this season. Vegas paid $500 million.

The existing 30 teams had the choice to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters regardless of position and one goalie from being selected in the expansion draft.

"I have no doubt that if there is going to be another expansion team they are going to insist on having the same expansion terms," Commissioner Bettman said. "I think that's crystal clear."

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