Report: NHL would like Coyotes in Central Division if Seattle gets team
The first season will be 2021-22, allowing time for renovating Key Arena for hockey.
Seattle's ownership group had expressed a desire to enter the league in 2020, but the league had reservations about whether that might rush the renovation to KeyArena and, instead, pushed the entry date a year later.
The NHL Seattle group had hoped Key Arena would be ready for the 2020-21 season, but the NHL expressed concerns about that.
"I think clubs have learned a lot," Bettman told reporters at the Stanley Cup Final of his outlook on expansion franchises.
The Seattle ownership group, which includes David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, will pay a $650 million expansion fee for the rights to the franchise.
As noted on HockeyCentral, when Seattle gets announced as team 32 in the NHL, we will also find out how the league intends to realign the divisions. We will hear Tuesday.
Seattle gets an NHL expansion team.
Even after Vegas made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final during its inaugural season, Bettman said in May that he had received "no pushback whatsoever" from other league owners about repeating the same process for Seattle.
Professional hockey is coming back to Seattle after a long hiatus, with an NHL expansion team set to begin play in 2021
3:36 PM ETEmily KaplanESPN SEA ISLAND, Ga. -- The NHL will add a franchise in Seattle, the league announced Tuesday after a unanimous vote by the board of governors.
The new NHL expansion team in Seattle will begin play in the 2021-22 season, with home games taking place at KeyArena after a $800 million renovation.
The National Hockey League's board voted Tuesday to add a team in the Emerald City.
"And we are thrilled that Seattle, a city with a proud hockey history that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup, is finally joining the NHL."
Seattle has long been a sought-after venue for an NHL franchise, but after numerous starts and stops, the process gathered a full head of steam when the city agreed last December to renovate KeyArena.
Las Vegas' success both as a market and on the ice has led to optimism the NHL could strike gold in the Seattle market, which has been starved for a winter sports franchise since the Seattle SuperSonics departed a decade ago.
But with the NHL Seattle group's proposal and the city's backing for a $750 million renovation of Key Arena, Seattle was almost guaranteed a green light.
Already more than 30,000 people have made season ticket deposits.