While the Seattle expansion proposal is moving forward and will present to the NHL’s Board of Governors on October 2nd, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recently said that there will not be a vote on that day to determine if a franchise is awarded to the city. Instead, that vote may come further down the line and play is now not expected to begin until the 2021-22 season. Today, Chris Daniels of K5 News reports another change in timeline, as the final transaction and integration documents recently submitted to the Seattle City Council include a clause that states construction on the new arena will not begin until the NHL awards a 32nd franchise to the city.
This doesn’t mean that things aren’t moving forward in Seattle, but does put a lot of importance on the upcoming vote, whenever it does take place. If the NHL decided the ownership group or city isn’t ready, a delay in awarding a franchise could cause any number of outcomes for the arena project. Daniels reports that the original plan dating back two years was to have a development agreement that did not “hinge on the acquisition of a team” but the new, changed agreement does include that clause.
The Oak View Group (OVG) which is spearheading the expansion application added minority investors this week and submitted several agreements to the city council for review including those for the arena development and lease. OVG is still set to present to the NHL Board of Governors next month, at which point we’ll likely know more about the timeline for an expansion vote and whether it is a realistic possibility for December when construction is now projected for.