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NHL agrees to accept expansion team application from Seattle

SEATTLE -- The NHL Board of Governors has agreed to accept an expansion application from Seattle, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Thursday.

Bettman said the expansion fee for Seattle will be $650 million.

He made the announcement after the first day of the board of governors meeting in Manalapan, Fla.

Bettman said the David Bonderman group in Seattle has been granted permission to file an application for expansion and run a season-ticket drive,  similar to what occurred with the Vegas process.

The group includes Jerry Bruckheimer, a Hollywood producer, and David Bonderman, a private equity CEO.

"That doesn't mean we have granted an expansion team," Bettman said. "We have agreed as a league to take and consider an expansion application and to let them run in the next few months a season-ticket drive."

The ticket drive would be to determine how much interest for a pro hockey team there is in Seattle.

Seattle plans to have renovated KeyArena ready by 2020 with the intent of luring an NHL and an NBA team as anchor tenants.

Bettman says Seattle is the only city being considered for expansion at the moment. If approved, Seattle would become the league's 32nd team.

Although Seattle has never had an NHL team, the Seattle Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915-24, won the Stanley Cup in 1917, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in a best-of-5 series, the NHL said.