HOCKEY

Report: NHL settles on Las Vegas for expansion

Jun 14, 2016, 9:47 AM | Updated: 11:47 am
Mayor Ed Murray...
The redevelopment opportunity for KeyArena extends south of the current facility, according to Brian Surratt, director of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development. (AP)
(AP)

The hope for a professional hockey team in Seattle has taken another heavy hit.

The Associated Press reports that a person with direct knowledge of the NHL’s decision says the league has settled on Las Vegas as its choice for expansion, provided organizers can come up with a $500 million fee.

The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because details have not been released by the league ahead of its Board of Governors meeting on June 22. Quebec City was also considered for expansion.

Related: O’Neil: No plausible scenario for NHL or NBA to return to KeyArena

A second person who had been briefed on the decision said Las Vegas was a “done deal” following the recommendation of the NHL’s executive committee.

The 2017-18 season would be the earliest the league would expand.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had proposed an expansion fee of $500 million, a significant jump from the $80 million paid by the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild, when the NHL last expanded to 30 teams in 2000.

The Las Vegas bid, led by Bill Foley, says it has secured more than 13,200 season-ticket deposits for a potential team. A 20,000-seat multipurpose arena near the Las Vegas Strip opened in April.

Seattle officials had discussed multiple options for bringing the NHL to the city, including remodeling KeyArena or building a new arena SoDo. The Seattle City Council voted 5-4 against vacating a street in SoDo to build a new arena.

AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds and AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.

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