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NHL awards Seattle with expansion team

By Alex Butler
NHL awards Seattle with expansion team
National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Seattle will once again be home to a National Hockey League franchise, the league announced Tuesday.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement of the league's 32nd franchise, which begins play in 2021-22. The team was approved in a unanimous vote by the NHL's Board of Governors during a meeting in Sea Island, Ga.

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"Today is an exciting and historic day for our League as we expand to one of North America's most innovative, beautiful and fastest-growing cities," Gary Bettman said in a release from the NHL.

"We are delighted to add David Bonderman, Tod Leiweke and the entire NHL Seattle group to the National Hockey League family. And we are thrilled that Seattle, a city with a proud hockey history that includes being the home for the first American team ever to win the Stanley Cup, is finally joining the NHL."

Bonderman will serve as the principal owner of the franchise, which will play its home games at Seattle Center Arena. The franchise will pay a $650 million expansion fee that will be distributed in equal shares to 30 of the NHL's existing clubs. Vegas will not receive money as it entered the league in 2017-18 after paying a $500 million expansion fee.

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The franchise will play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. The Arizona Coyotes will move to the Western Conference's Central Division.

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