By Tim Booth The Associated Press
January 9, 2019 – 3:51 pm
SEATTLE — The NHL is giving Seattle’s future franchise a reward for its investment in bringing the league’s 32nd franchise to the city.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday the league has promised Seattle it will host the All-Star Game within its first seven seasons, with the team slated to begin play in 2021-22. Bettman also says Seattle will host the NHL draft, and that event will likely be awarded before the All-Star Game arrives.
Bettman made the announcement as part of his first visit to Seattle since the franchise was approved by the league’s Board of Governors in early December. Bettman met with members of the ownership group, fans who have placed deposits on season tickets and reviewed the status of the massive renovation of the arena at Seattle Center where the team will play.
Seattle’s ownership group has put up over $1.5 billion in expansion fees, arena upgrades and a state-of-the-art practice facility.