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Arena investor talks 'amazing pent-up demand' for Seattle NHL franchise

Oak View Group President Tim Leiweke says if an NHL team comes to Seattle, he would personally own a small piece of the team.

Oak View Group President Tim Leiweke acknowledged publicly for the first time that he will be a minority owner in a future Seattle NHL franchise, and expressed surprise at the level of excitement over the prospective team.

He made the comments as part of a wide-ranging interview with Toronto's FAN 590 on Thursday.

Leiweke told hosts Bob McCown and Richard Deitsch "I will personally own a small piece of the hockey team" once it is officially awarded to Seattle. He went on to say that his company, OVG, will own a chunk of the new Arena at Seattle Center, "about half of the investment."

He also talked about the "amazing pent-up demand" for season tickets in Seattle.

Related: NHL ticket deposit sale closes with 33,000 sold, waitlist now open

On March 1st, his group, led by David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, sold season ticket deposits at $500 and $1000 a seat. 10,000 tickets were sold in 12 minutes.

Leiweke told the station "what shocked us was the speed." He went on to say there are already 5,000 on the waiting list, meaning the group has a total of 38,000 people who have signed up.

Tod Leiweke leaves NFL: Is Seattle NHL next for him?

The hosts asked Leiweke about his brother Tod, the former Seahawks CEO, who is well regarded in Seattle and just left his position as Chief Operating Officer of the National Football League.

It has been widely believed that Tod will now make his way back to Seattle to run operations for the new franchise.

"I know my brother is leaving the NFL and that's all I'm allowed to say," said Tim, hesitating, adding that soon "I hope we have something to share with you."

The NHL is not expected to make an official announcement about the franchise until June at the earliest.

Click here to listen to the full FAN 590 Interview.