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

NHL says Seattle can apply for franchise, start season-ticket drive

The news came one day after Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed a memorandum to renovate the KeyArena, NBC affiliate K5 News reported.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league's board of governors agreed to consider an expansion application from Seattle.

Kaplan also reported National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman set a $650 million price for the expansion, compared to the $500 million price that was set for the Las Vegas Knights. The expansion team in Seattle will cost $650 million, while Vegas was $500 million.

Bettman said the David Bonderman group in Seattle has been granted permission to file an application for expansion and run a season-ticket drive, similar to what occurred with the Vegas process.

Bettman also said that Seattle is the only place being considered for an expansion team at this time.

Seattle plans to have a new arena ready by 2020 with the intent of luring an National Hockey League and an NBA team as anchor tenants.

Also announced Thursday, the Carolina Hurricanes have sold a majority stake in the franchise to Dallas billionaire Tom Dundon.

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.

Bettman said the group is only looking at Seattle for expansion, leaving Quebec City and Houston alone. "I think we'll meet the benchmarks we need to meet and in the mean time we'll be negotiating the side agreements, doing the environmental work and moving forward so we can open when the National Hockey League wants to come".

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