The Vegas Golden Knights first inaugural season is coming up and some can’t help but wonder which city will get an NHL team next. While places such as Quebec City, Houston, and Saskatoon have been thrown around, one other city stands out: Seattle.
Seattle is a hub for sports in recent years. They have the Seahawks, the Mariners, and the Sounders FC to name a few. Both the Seahawks and the Sounders have won titles within the last three years. Because of this, Seattle has attracted a lot of dedicated sports fans. Adding a hockey team would be tapping into the right market. And it gives the people of the city another reason to go out and get into sports if they aren’t already.
Since Seattle doesn’t have a team, fans are forced to choose a team that isn’t exactly close to home, so it could get costly. The Vancouver Canucks are actually the closest team to Seattle, which would mean a two-hour car ride or a 45-minute plane ride. For a lot of families and young fans, this could be out of their budget. Adding the team would be allowing those fans to attend a hockey game in person, some for the first time.
There’s already somewhere for the team to play. The Key Arena in Seattle would be available for the NHL to move in and have a team play there. The arena seats 15,177 which is definitely on the smaller side for a hockey arena, but could be expanded if they renovate. As of right now, Key Arena has two teams that play there: the Seattle Redhawks and the Seattle Storm. Having another professional team join the Redhawks would be an incentive for some to get tickets. The arena could offer group tickets where fans are able to get tickets for both teams.
Seattle might not be high on the list for some people when they think of the NHL expansion, but it’s an untapped market that could really help the NHL and increase sales. The Northwest only has a handful of teams, so another one would expand hockey’s reach into more areas.