Season-ticket deposit sales are off to an extremely fast start in Seattle with more than 25,000 going in the first hour -- including 10,000 in the first 12 minutes. On Wednesday, the Oak View Group seemed concerned about setting a timeline to reach 10,000 deposits. Thursday, they exhaled.
“It’s beyond anybody’s wildest expectations of what we could have done here,” said OVG's Tim Leiweke, “It is an unbelievably great message back to the NHL, and for that matter, the Sports industry.”
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly issued a one-word response to KING5, “Impressive.”
At noon, the Oak View Group raised a special NHL Seattle flag to the top of the Space Needle to mark the start of deposit sales. Lynnwood teen Bretton Chitwood raised the flag and is serving as honorary team captain. Chitwood lost a foot to bone cancer but refused to give up playing hockey.
Chitwood pulled red and black flag to the top. OVG's Tim Leiweke warned against reading anything into the colors of the flag. Nothing has been decided.
The deposits went on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday through nhlseattle.com. Prices start at $500 per seat and it's refundable if Seattle does not get a team.
OVG hopes to have a decision from the NHL by June. Then construction on the New Arena at Seattle Center would begin in October or November of this year.
The deposits are seen as a key barometer as to whether the league will award a franchise.
The Oak View Group submitted their application on February 13, in hopes to begin play in 2020.
The NHL's expansion Vegas Golden Knights conducted a similar ticket drive before the league officially awarded the city a franchise.
It took Las Vegas several weeks to reach the 10,000 mark.