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Seattle hockey team on track for 2020, arena project CEO says

SEATTLE — Hold tight, hockey fans.

All indications are a NHL team will be playing hockey in Seattle in 2020.

Tod Leiweke is the CEO and team president of a possible NHL franchise in Seattle.

Though no franchise has been officially awarded, Leiweke said he spoke to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettmanlast week, and things are looking good.

“The NHL is excited about what’s happening here,” Leiweke told Q13 News’ Bill Wixey.

Wixey spoke to Leiweke, the brother of Tim Leiweke, whose Oak View Group is in charge of renovating KeyArena to prepare for a team.

Leiweke said NHL was “stunned” by the 38,000 season ticket deposits snapped up by Seattle fans earlier this year, and it was a huge boost for bringing hockey to the city.

Seattle fans should have official word on a team by September.

Despite the good news, the Key Arena ownership group needs to remain vigilant, Leiweke said.

“We have not been granted a franchise, we are not going to be presumptuous,” Leiweke said. “This is manifest destiny, and we are going to prove to the other 31 owners that this is the place for the NHL.”

Q13 News has more with Tod Lieweke Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.