If the NHL adds another franchise to the mix in the future, there’s a good chance it will cost much more than the $500 million Bill Foley paid to spur the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights. That’s according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, who reported that the next NHL franchise is expected to cost between $600-700 million. “Expansion is not formally on the agenda as owners gather Thursday and Friday in Florida, but there is a strong feeling that it will be discussed on some level,” Johnston said during Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment on Saturday. “We’ve talked about Houston, we’ve talked about Quebec City in recent weeks. There’s also a key vote in Seattle on Monday where the Oak View Group could have its $600-million arena proposal approved by council to get things going. That will obviously get the attention of NHL owners should it go through. “And with how well things have gone in Vegas on the ice, off the ice, all this interest that they’re getting, the feeling is that the next franchise in the league is going to cost $600 million to $700 million.” The vote in question—on a memorandum of understanding between the Oak View Group and the city of Seattle proposing a redevelopment of KeyArena—could serve as the first significant step in Seattle’s bid to enter the expansion fray. Commissioner Gary Bettman discussed the city’s chances of getting a franchise in October, telling Sportsnet 590’s Prime Time Sports that securing a building surely helps. “You need to believe that a building is going to come out of the ground. And if not, bad things will happen,” Bettman said. “This is really jumping ahead because we would have to be in a place where we say ‘OK we want to commit to a franchise in Seattle. Here’s what has to happen, here are the terms of engagement.’ We’re nowhere near that.” Not yet, but a majority vote from the nine-member council on Monday would certainly move Seattle one step closer.
NHL’s next expansion franchise could cost $600-700 million
Sportsnet | Dec 3