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NHL Seattle gets to 25K season ticket deposits in 1st hour

Judging by the first numbers reported about the NHL Seattle season ticket drive, Seattle is more than ready for hockey.

Tim Leiweke, CEO of the Oak View Group, told Farhan Lalji of TSN in Canada that nearly 25,000 season ticket deposits had been reached inside the first hour of going on sale, with 10,000 coming in the first 12 minutes after they were made available at 10 a.m.

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“I’m shocked that happened as quick as it did, but I’m not shocked that it happened,” Leiweke said to Lalji of the number of season ticket deposits made. “We knew that there was a built-up passion here. As I just told a friend of mine, we just sold enough season tickets for the NHL and the NBA.”

The NHL Seattle Twitter account followed with an update around noon.

OVG is set to begin a complete renovation of the current KeyArena at Seattle Center by the end of the year, which it is hoping will lure both the NHL and NBA to the city. The new arena has a target date of being open in time for 2020-21 NHL season.

The capacity at the new arena at Seattle Center will be 17,500, so based on priority, some of the deposits made Thursday will be for partial season tickets.

To compare, the most recent NHL expansion team in Las Vegas had 5,000 deposits in the first two days of its season ticket drive and 9,000 within a month of going on sale in February 2015.

Seattle has quickly been moving towards an NHL expansion franchise in the last four months, beginning with the Seattle City Council approving a $600 million agreement to allow the OVG to redevelop KeyArena in December. Later that same week, the NHL agreed to allow a Seattle group to apply for an expansion team, and the group sent the application in to the league just over two weeks ago, clearing the way for the season ticket drive.

In the video above, Leiweke and prospective NHL Seattle owner Jerry Bruckheimer, best known as a Hollywood producer, talk to Brock Huard and Dave Grosby of 710 ESPN Seattle just before the season ticket drive started Thursday morning.

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