Date set: Seattle could get conditional approval of NHL team on June 20

Conceptual drawing of what new hockey arena would look like at the remodeled KeyArena (Oak View Group)

SEATTLE - The NHL Board of Governors will meet June 20 in Las Vegas, a league source told KOMO News on Tuesday. That is when the Oak View Group, a partner in the prospective franchise and the group renovating KeyArena, could be given conditional approval to bring a professional hockey franchise to Seattle.

The prospective majority owner of the franchise, David Bonderman, said at a press conference in April that he expected a conditional announcement about the franchise from the league in June. The Board of Governors are scheduled to meet June 20 at the NHL Awards festivities in Las Vegas.

In December, the Seattle City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with Los Angeles-based Oak View Group to privately finance a roughly $600 million remodel that would nearly double the square footage of KeyArena.

In the draft EIS, the Oak View Group detailed plans of construction to begin at KeyArena starting October 2018.

The two-year project proposal includes 18-hour work days during the initial period of construction. OVG has been adamant that it hope to have a puck drop in Seattle by the 2020 NHL season.

Tod Leiweke, brother of OVG CEO Tim Leiweke, was named CEO and president of the prospective NHL franchise in April. Bonderman said he expects to hear official approval from the NHL in September.

Before construction can begin to renovate KeyArena, the City must sign off on the lease agreement with OVG. In addition, the final Environmental Impact Statement must be published before permitting can begin.

In a season ticket drive in March, prospective fans bought 33,000 deposits, including 25,000 in the first few hours.

"The response this morning was absolutely stunning," said Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke on March 1. "That’s the only word we could use to sell 25,000 season tickets and counting in a matter of hours shows what all of us knew - which is this is America’s great sports city."

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