SEATTLE — On his very first visit to Seattle since the city had been awarded that the NHL’s 32nd franchise,” Commissioner Gary Bettman announced several more rewards to the future franchise investment.
Bettman said the team has assured Seattle it’s going to host allstar weekend over its first seven months, along with the team slated to begin play in 2021-22. Bettman also says Seattle will host the NHL draft, and that event is going to be granted before the allstar Game arrives.
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“it does not mean we will wait seven years,” Bettman said. “We are planning to be bringing league events . This is where we want to be.”
Bettman’s abrupt and casual announcement was part of the very first visit to Seattle since the franchise had been approved by the league’s Board of Governors in early December. Bettman met with associates of their ownership group, governmental leaders from the metropolis, fans who have placed deposits season tickets and reviewed the status of the gigantic renovation of the stadium at Seattle Center where the team would playwith.
Seattle’s ownership group has put around $1.5 billion in expansion fees, upgrades to the building formerly called KeyArena, and also a state of the art practice centre that is anticipated to start in time to host the very first training camp.
“If you talk about in terms of kicking the tires, the tires are in good form,” Bettman said. When the board made the decision to come to Seattle, we knew that it had been the ideal decision, it’d be a terrific decision and all that has transpired has not just lived up to expectation but has surpassed our expectations”
The franchise initially expected to start to the 2020 season, however it is using the additional year to ensure the stadium is operational ahead of their team’s home opener. It also provides the team additional time and energy to collect its hockey team.
The team doesn’t have a name or color scheme. Bettman said the team will mostly stay out of the selection process, aside from dealing with the Seattle franchise in colours, logos and other logistical portions of the expansion name. Seattle team president and CEO Tod Leiweke said the aim is always to have a name announced by the middle of 20-19. The franchise will likely be carrying major input fans that have put deposits down season tickets.
Leiweke said the team’s aim is always to have a portal site launched over the next 60 days for season-ticket depositors to provide feedback also to inform them of their interval for decisions and statements continue.
“When I have my way, their fingerprints are going to be throughout this franchise. Certainly a name, however they’re going to help us build so,” Leiweke said.
Some fans are hoping to find a recurrence of their Seattle Metropolitans — a historical name in Seattle, as the Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup in 1917. This name might be off the table, though, since the NHL has a division with this name.
Bettman was inquired if this name may be eliminated.
“Viscerally, yes,” he stated,”but I never say never to anything”