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Bettman: Seattle invited to apply for NHL bid

From ESPN - December 7, 2017

MANALAPAN, Fla. -- Seattle has been invited to apply for NHL expansion, commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday.

The NHL's price for Seattle's expansion bid: $650 million.

"It is envisioned that the terms of an expansion agreement, would it go forward, would basically be the same as Las Vegas -- except the price," Bettman said, speaking at the league's Board of Governors meeting. "If we decide for whatever reason for the 2020 season, instead of expanding, using an existing franchise, that's always an option. But that's not something we are focused on right now. Because we are not anticipating anybody moving right now."

The Vegas Golden Knights joined the NHL this season, after paying $500 million in fees.

The NHL's Board of Governors also approved Seattle's prospective ownership group -- the Oak View Group -- to conduct a season-ticket drive to gauge interest in the area.

"You will all handicap the likelihood of it being successful or not," Bettman said. "I ca not stop that speculation."

On Monday, the Seattle City Council approved a memorandum of understanding for the privately financed Oak View Group to move forward with a $660 million remodeling of Key Arena, paving the way for potential NBA and NHL franchises. The NHL has long coveted Seattle, but the city never had a singular ownership group or arena, which hindered its chances -- until now.

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