The city of Seattle has approved an initiative that opens the door for an NHL expansion team and possibly, the return of the NBA.
“In swift, workmanlike fashion, the Seattle City Council on Monday approved a deal for a $600 million renovation of KeyArena that could soon attract an NHL team and possibly an NBA franchise down the road,” Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reported. “The council voted 7-1 to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city and the Los Angeles-based Oak View Group (OVG). They hope to complete the renovation by October 2020, in time to launch an NHL team for the 2020-21 season.”
It makes sense that the NHL would be interested in adding a team. With the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights for the 2017-18 season, the league has 31 teams. An odd number of teams is not as big of a problem as it would be in the NFL or MLB, but it’s still less than ideal. Given that the Western Conference still has one fewer team than the Eastern Conference, Seattle is a sensible location.
The current NHL has never had a team in Washington. It is worth noting, though, that the Stanley Cup’s origins predate the modern NHL and that the Seattle Metropolitans were the first American team to win it.
Seattle has been without an NBA team since 2008. After the 2007-08 season, the Seattle Supersonics were controversially moved and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.