Seattle is very, very close to getting its own NHL expansion team.
On Tuesday, the NHL executive committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to move forward with plans to expand the league into the Northwestern metropolis with a 9–0 vote. (RELATED: HERE ARE THE SIX CITIES THE MLB WANTS TO EXPAND INTO)
The vote wasn’t a hard decision, though it wasn’t for a lack of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s intense legwork.
Let’s do this Seattle! pic.twitter.com/AzPk65jVSx
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) October 2, 2018
“I think Mayor Durkan did an excellent job of presenting the case for Seattle as a city and as a base of enthusiasm for NHL hockey,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.
Now, everybody’s looking ahead to more concrete next steps. The vote will be forwarded to the board of governors in December, which needs a 75-percent in-favor vote to pass.
“The focus for everybody is 2020,” Bettman added. “That’s what we’re focused on. There are a variety of factors that could impact that, including the construction timeline. The sooner construction can begin, obviously, the more likely an early start.”
And last week, the Seattle City Council voted to begin a $700 million renovation of KeyArena in the city. Of course, the city must vote on getting the NHL franchise before construction actually begins but it looks like things are moving in the right direction.