Since 1991, the NHL has grown by 11 teams. That number looks like it will be growing to 12, and 32 in the league, within the next few months with the addition of Seattle. The bottom line is that the league is growing in popularity and is trying to cover every region of the country. Expansion brought us the Vegas Golden Knights, who have averaged nearly 18,000 fans in their first 32 home games which is over 100 percent of their capacity. The Golden Knights are the darlings of the NHL this season and a legit Cup contender which makes the league’s Front Office members look like geniuses. Seattle is perfect for the league and the league is perfect for Seattle.
The time is now for the NHL to expand to Seattle. The Seahawks and Sounders have shown that they’re elite organizations in both of their respective leagues with arguably the best fan bases. The Mariners haven’t been a playoff team since 2001 but are still a staple in the town’s sports scene. Seattle is a fanatical, exciting town and there is no reason to not have an NHL team there. Not only would an NHL team be perfect, but the Oak View Group has hinted that an NBA team would make sense in the near future after the hockey team is finalized. As of now there are 16 teams in the east and 15 in the west so Seattle, naturally, slots into that last Western Conference spot.
The city has already submitted the $10 million down payment to the league. The OVG, headlined by Tim Leiweke, Jerry Bruckheimer (he produced Remember the Titans, ever heard of it?) and David Bonderman, have been all in and a $600 million dollar renovation is in the works, and completed to be ready by 2020. The NHL has also set the application fee at $650 million. That’s a lot of money but that doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Now, the city of Seattle has proof that they’re ready for an NHL team in terms of Season Tickets. Let’s put it this way: It took Vegas 6 weeks to get to 10,000 season ticket deposits. It took Seattle just over an hour to get to 25,000.
Obviously, hockey isn’t right around the corner in Seattle but it’s getting closer. A few other cities (Houston and Quebec City) are looking for either expansion or relocation which could delay some of the process if those negotiations go anywhere. Not saying that those cities couldn’t handle an NHL team, but in the immediate future, Seattle makes the most sense. And isn’t this a beautiful sight?
Personally, picturing Seattle as an NHL City gets me fired up. I wasn’t completely sold on Vegas (I am now) because it was their first professional team and it is known as a tourist town. I’m sold on Seattle because they know sports work there. Even if your not a Seattle sports fan, you gotta respect the “12th man” both in the NFL and MLS. I also think that this builds a natural rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks. Also, if the NBA doesn’t think they don’t need more of this, then the NBA doesn’t deserve Seattle.
All signs point towards Seattle hosting an NHL team for the 2020-21 season.
Questions: Does the Seattle team go with the Navy and Green color scheme? The Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL do.
If the NBA was there, will they be the SuperSonics?
What do you think?