NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league's board of governors has agreed to consider an expansion application from Seattle.
Bettman said the expansion fee has been set at $650 million for Seattle, which would become the league's 32nd team, if approved.
He made the announcement Thursday. Bettman says Seattle is the only city being considered for expansion at the moment.
Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan held a conference about the decision at 4:15 p.m. KIRO 7 streamed it; find it recorded at this link.
When city leaders announced the NHL decision, a poster hung from the podium reading "Seattle World Hockey Championships 1917."
It's true that not only did Seattle once have a hockey team, but some credit that team for changing hockey forever. The Seattle Metropolitans became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917. Read about the team here.
Durkan recently signed an agreement with a developer to renovate KeyArena so the venue could be ready for an NBA or NHL team.
Durkan told reporters Wednesday the deal with Los Angeles-based Oak View Group is the best path for Seattle to get an NHL team and bring back the NBA.
OVG CEO Tim Leiweke says his group will work to get a team to join the WNBA's Seattle Storm at KeyArena.
OVG would privately finance a $600 million remodel of the aging arena. The deal includes $20 million in cash and in-kind contributions to nonprofit organizations and $40 million for traffic improvements.
Durkan says the deal protects taxpayers and is good for the city. She says it does not block other possible arena projects.
Information from the Associated Press is included in this report.
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