Seattle, WA - If you've been tracking the saga that is Seattle's NHL Expansion bid, this date is undoubtedly circled on the calendar.
Today, an NHL Seattle leadership team comprised of David Bonderman, Jerry Bruckheimer, Tod Leiweke, Tim Leiweke, Mayor Jenny S. Durkan, David Wright, Francesca Bodie, and Len Potter stood in front of the NHL's Board of Governors Executive Committee to officially present their bid for expansion.
Tod Leiweke began the presentation by speaking to Commissioner Gary Bettman and the select group of owners that make up the prestigious committee, about the work that the Seattle Group has done leading up to this moment. The headline is of course the unanimous approval from the Seattle City Council on its arena redevelopment deal early last week, but doesn't over shadow the robust group of local investors, the 32,000 season ticket depositors and plans to announce a new state-of the art training facility in the near future.
"We have a great story to tell," said Leiweke to the press following the meeting. "We wanted to put our best foot forward and I feel like today we did...What always carries the day is the 32,000 depositors and the fans who believed in this."
Mayor Durkan then addressed the Committee to discuss the merits of Seattle as a sports city, the championships, the legends that have called it home and how it's explosive tech growth makes it a prime market for hockey.
"Seattle sells itself," Durkan said after the meeting. "We live in a great city, with the greatest fan base, and it’s growing faster than any city in America."
OVG President Tim Leiweke led the next conversation about the new Seattle Center Arena in which the proposed team would play. A historical landmark that will be retrofitted with a new world class interior, and built to be the most intimate and difficult away venue in the NHL.
The pitch was closed by owners David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer. Among the topics covered were the immaculate support they've received from the city of Seattle and its citizens, their passion for bringing a 32nd team to the most exciting sport on Earth, and their vision for a world-class franchise.
"We are grateful to the Executive Committee for allowing us to make the case for Seattle to join the NHL as its 32nd franchise," said Leiweke. "Today was another step toward realizing the dream of bringing an NHL franchise to Seattle."
Bettman and the Executive Committee made a unanimous formal recommendation to its Board of Governors to expand to Seattle. The Board is expected to vote in early December.