The group hoping to bring the NHL to Seattle will make a pitch to the executive committee of the league’s board of governors at a meeting in New York on Oct. 2. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan will take part in the presentation.
The Oak View Group confirmed the meeting on Wednesday, the same day it announced a group of local minority partners, including Adrian Hanauer, majority owner of Seattle Sounders FC of the MLS; Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services; and Christopher and Ted Ackerley, two sons of former SuperSonics owner Barry Ackerley.
The OVG — led by investment banker David Bonderman, longtime sports executive Tim Leiweke and Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer — has been in a memorandum of understanding with the city to renovate KeyArena in downtown Seattle for the potential NHL team, and possibly an NBA team. The project was initially budgeted for $600 million, but in July the group announced renovations will cost $100 million more than previously expected.
As a hockey venue, KeyArena is expected to seat about 17,000 fans. In March, the group launched a season-ticket drive and said it reached 25,000 deposits within the first hour. That exceeds the goal of 10,000 deposits, which was reached in the first 12 minutes.
The group has already submitted paperwork, including a $10 million down payment, to the NHL to be its 32nd franchise. The NHL has set a price of $650 million for Seattle’s expansion bid — up $150 million from what the Vegas Golden Knights paid.
The OVG has stated a goal of being ready for the 2020-21 NHL season, though it may be a crunch to get everything done within that time frame.