It’s official! The NHL’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to accept Seattle’s expansion bid as the 32nd team in the league, according to an official announcement from the league on Tuesday.
The investment group that applied for the expansion included Oak View Group (OVG), which includes Tod Leiweke, former COO of the NFL, Tim Leiweke, former CEO of both Anschutz Entertainment Group (which owns the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings franchise) along with Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment (owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs), and David Bonderman, a Seattle billionaire.
The group also received the benefit of full and public support from Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan throughout the process, and the announcement was considered a foregone conclusion once the group was armed with approval for a new arena.
This could also bode well for the potential return of an NBA franchise in Seattle, as a new arena will certainly re-ignite those efforts.