The NHL has officially received the application for an expansion team in Seattle.
The Oak View Group, which is behind the Key Arena remodel, submitted the application on Tuesday. CEO Tim Leiweke says, "OVG has submitted to the NHL the formal application papers required to pursue an expansion franchise for Seattle. We are excited for the next steps in the process and our continued partnership with the City of Seattle.”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted that Seattle is "one step closer to bringing another great sports team to our City."
The Associated Press reports that the Oak View Group and its prospective NHL ownership group, led by billionaire David Bonderman and filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer, submitted the expansion application and $10 million filing fee. The expansion application has been expected for weeks and is the next step in Seattle's ongoing hope of bringing an NHL franchise to the largest market in the United States without a professional winter sports franchise.
If Seattle is successful in its expansion bid, the new franchise would bring the league to an even 32 teams with 16 in each conference. A new team would also yield a hefty expansion fee - in the neighborhood of $650 million. AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.
Earlier this month, three NHL executives gave their public support for an NHL franchise in Seattle. KING 5's Chris Daniels traveled to Tampa for the NHL All-Star Weekend.