Photo of the Seattle, Washington skyline.

Image Credit: Angela N (CC BY 2.0)

The Oak View Group, the investment group desperately trying to secure an NHL franchise for the city of Seattle, received an enormous response for their season ticket drive earlier this week. Seattle area residents were asked to put down a $500 or $1000 deposit for season tickets to gauge the city’s interest in an NHL expansion team. Not only did the Oak View Group secure more than 25,000 season ticket deposits in an hour, the deposit drive also caused Ticketmaster’s computer systems to crash.

The Oak View Group is led by Tim Leiweke who previously served as the President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE); ownership group of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. Leiweke also spent time as the President and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). Movie director Jerry Bruckheimer, an NHL fanatic, is also a member of the Oak View Group. By comparison, the Vegas Golden Knights were only able to secure 10,000 season ticket deposits over a period of six weeks. The Vegas Golden Knights are the NHL’s newest team and play their home games at the brand-new T-Mobile Arena near the Vegas Strip.


The $1,000 deposits were designated for fans interested in purchasing season tickets for the club seats. The club seats are expected to be located at mid-ice on KeyArena’s lower level. Seattle residents that deposited money will be able to opt out and receive a refund once the KeyArena seating chart and pricing is released to the public in coming months. The earliest an NHL team could begin play in Seattle would be for the 2020-2021 NHL season.

KeyArena is currently undergoing a massive renovation that is expected to conclude in October. The arena has been vacant of professional sports since the Seattle SuperSonics bolted for Oklahoma City in 2008. Seattle also has an investment group that are trying hard to secure an  NBA team for the city and will likely share KeyArena with the expansion hockey team if successful. Hedge fund billionaire Chris Hansen has been trying to secure an NBA team for Seattle for several years now and wasn’t warm to the idea of renovating KeyArena. Hansen’s group unsuccessfully attempted to build a new arena for both franchises in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. SODO is also home to CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field.


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