Could the NHL Be Headed To Seattle After City Approves Arena Redevelopment?

By Jeff Svoboda on December 5, 2017 at 3:05 pm
Could NHL hockey come to Seattle?
Oak View Group

This fall, the NHL welcomed its 31st team, the Vegas Golden Knights.

So why not make it 32, right?

There will always be talk about getting the league to an even number of teams until it happens, and the Pacific Northwest seems to be an area of interest for the league.

And it appears the interest might be mutual. From KING, the NBC affiliate in the city, on Monday:

The Seattle City Council has voted 7-1 to approve a new $660 million package to build a new arena at Seattle Center, perhaps paving the way for a Seattle NHL franchise in the immediate future.

There are a lot of things at play here, but it appears a University of Washington grad, billionaire and Boston Celtics co-owner David Bonderman could be the lead investor of the bid to bring the team to Seattle.

The Seattle metro area currently has two Western Hockey League teams in the Seattle Thunderbirds, who are located in the southern suburb of Kent, and the Everett Silvertips, who are about 25 miles north of the city. The city has not had a hockey squad at the sport's highest level since the Seattle Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915-24 and won the Stanley Cup in 1917. 

KeyArena served as the home of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics until the team moved at the end of the 2008 season. The proposal would include a $600 million redevelopment of the facility by the Oak View Group to make it ready for both a new NHL team and perhaps the return of the Sonics. The arena would be ready for play by the start of the 2020 season.

Will it have an NHL team by then? Time will tell.