The latest NHL rumors and reports suggest the possibility that hockey will finally make its way to Seattle, Washington. Recent news of money approved for significant renovations to the professional sports arena could be a surefire sign of things to come. Not only could it mean hockey but also more basketball for the city. Here are the latest details on the KeyArena renovations that could signal new professional sports franchises for the city of Seattle.
On Monday, The Seattle Times‘ Geoff Baker provided a tweet update (below) saying that a $600 million renovation was approved by the Seattle City Council for the KeyArena venue. In more of a complete report from the Times, they indicated that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan still needs to sign the new budget approval, but it’s not expected she will object to them moving forward. This seems to bode well for the addition of an NBA franchise, NHL franchise, or both in the future. In particular, the NHL will be making an announcement in July of which city will be the next to receive an expansion franchise. Over the past year or so, there has been a hockey team added to Las Vegas known as the Golden Knights.
The city of Seattle has never had a hockey team during the NHL’s history. There was the Seattle Metropolitans way back in the early 1900s who participated in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association and the Western Canada Hockey League. An NHL team would be an exciting attraction for the city which loves its sports teams, past and present. The current expectations are to have renovations completed by the year 2020 just in time for the NHL 2020-21 season.
In addition to football and baseball, the city currently has a WNBA team, the Seattle Storm, and previously had the Seattle Supersonics NBA team. The previous Seattle Sonics franchise lasted for just over four decades, winning one championship in 1979 and having several big runs in the 90s against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. That Sonics team eventually moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City and became the current OKC Thunder NBA team.
KeyArena first was created for the World’s Fair back in the early 1960s. The fact that there are now studies being conducted about KeyArena, as well as money being targeted to make parking and transportation around the venue better, all seem to be major steps towards bringing more professional sports to the city of Seattle. It’s expected that an NBA team would be first on the list. However, the major hockey fans of the city will be waiting anxiously to see if July 2018 brings them the announcement of their first-ever NHL team to cheer for.