Seattle is in line to land the NHL's next expansion team. On Thursday, the city did its best to prove it is ready. With , a season-ticket drive was held to gauge the city's interest and commitment to a potential NHL club. That ticket drive was an overwhelming success, according to the team's prospective ownership group.
That group -- fronted by Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke, film/TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and billionaire investment banker David Bonderman -- claims to have hit their goal of 10,000 deposits in just 12 minutes. By Thursday afternoon, they were above 25,000 deposits.
"We're shell-shocked, to be honest," said Leiweke, via TSN. "Seattle has spoken. The fans in Seattle have made it a resounding vote. They are ready for the National Hockey League and they are counting on us to get the National Hockey League here."
For reference, when the Vegas Golden Knights ownership group held their season-ticket drive, it took them two days to reach 5,000 deposits, and two months to reach 9,000. The Seattle group surpassed that in less than 15 minutes.
Seattle offered two options for deposits: $500 for run-of-the-mill season tickets, or $1,000 for club seats. They reportedly sold more than 5,000 club seat deposits.
That's a very promising sign for Seattle's chances of landing a team, which would play at a redeveloped KeyArena, former home of the Sonics. The building's expected capacity for hockey is around 17,300.
Seattle's hunger for another sports franchise has been well-documented over the years, but this level of fierce support for an NHL franchise is pretty astounding. That incredible turnout could certainly be aided by the immediate excitement and success surrounding Vegas' new franchise this year.
If they are indeed awarded a team, Seattle's ownership group says it can be ready by the 2020-21 season.