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Seattle NHL expansion team eyes Palm Springs for AHL affiliate

Proposed 10,000-seat arena would open for 2021-22 season @NHLdotcom

The Seattle NHL expansion team plans to build an arena and training center in Palm Springs, California, that would house its affiliate in the American Hockey League.

NHL Seattle and Oak View Group, which is financing Seattle's new arena on the site of KeyArena, have jointly submitted an application for an AHL team that would begin play in the 2021-22 season, when the Seattle team is scheduled to take the ice as the NHL's 32nd team.

The proposed arena, expected to seat approximately 10,000 people, would include amenities including suites and premium hospitality clubs, and it will be adjacent to a training facility and a year-round community gathering space. It would be located on 16 acres of land inhabited by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, a federally recognized tribe.

"The new arena in downtown Palm Springs is a terrific project," NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke said Wednesday. "If we are successful with our application for an AHL franchise, it would represent an exciting opportunity to being the first professional hockey team to this region."

NHL Seattle and Oak View Group hope to begin construction of the privately financed arena in February 2020.

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