The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors on Tuesday voted to approve Seattle as the 32nd NHL franchise for the 2021-22 season. The unanimous decision by the League’s Board of Governors was announced by the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
The inclusion comes after the yet-to-be-named Seattle hockey team met the NHL goal of 10,000 season ticket deposits. According to the league, that number was reached within 12 minutes of sales. To date, there are 32,000 depositors for season tickets.
“Today is a historic moment in Seattle’s sports history,” said Todd Leiweke, CEO of NHL Seattle. “We appreciate the City of Seattle’s ongoing leadership in helping us reach this milestone. Mayor Jenny Durkan has been a champion in the campaign to bring the NHL to Seattle and leading the charge on the arena project. Seattle Center and city staff have been great partners in making this dream a reality.”
The team will play at the Key Arena after facility renovations are complete beginning with the 2021-2022 season. Team owners were hoping to launch the team in the 2020-2021 season, but the NHL board opted to wait a year due to concerns over the arena’s completion date.
The team’s practice facility will be in the Northgate Mall area, which is also undergoing major renovations and transformations. The ice rinks, set to be complete in 2020, will be an anchor for Northgate Mall. Simon Property Group, with its nearby under-construction light rail transit station, is in the planning process of adding between 500,000 and 700,000 square feet of retail space and a similar amount of office space to the existing mall.