Expansion to Seattle in NHL's future?
Arena: Las Vegas Arena (Capacity: 20,000)
A major gamble, but it would make the NHL the first major sports league in North America to house a team in Nevada's glitzy gambling mecca. The league already has a foothold in Vegas, with the city hosting the league's award show over the last few years. (QMI Agency)
The NHL is apparently keeping a keen eye on Seattle this week, as a proposed NBA/NHL arena is debated at public hearings Tuesday and Thursday.
Not only is the league keeping tabs on the West Coast but there have also been behind-the-scenes talks about expanding to Seattle, according to King 5 News.
The TV station has “sources with intimate knowledge of the situation” telling them NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is quietly lobbying owners to consider awarding an expansion franchise to Seattle.
Bettman, King 5 said, has even thrown around the idea of a potential 31st team starting its operations as early as next year. The league has denied talks have taken place.
“I’m sure the Pacific Northwest is going to get serious consideration (for expansion),” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said earlier this summer at a Vancouver Canucks fan event.
Since the proposed arena wouldn’t be built right away, Key Arena, which holds 15,177 for hockey, is a facility that could serve as a temporary home to an NHL club.
Currently, the city of Seattle is home to MLB’s Mariners and the NFL’s Seahawks. The NBA’s SuperSonics were relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008.