Seattle’s NHL expansion bid creates bigger buzz than Vegas

When Seattle Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Marilyn Strickland saw a 20-by-20 NHL flag raised atop the city’s iconic Space Needle, she viewed it as the sign that there’s a new game in town.

“There’s a buzz,” Strickland said. “When you say, ‘25,000 season-ticket deposits (sold) in one hour,’ people talk about that. There’s a civic pride and an enthusiasm. … People may not necessarily be hardcore fans of the sport, but they want to be caught up in the event.”

The NHL is still reviewing Seattle’s expansion application, but it would be hard to say no to a city that had deposits on 10,000 season tickets in the first 12 minutes on March 1. Sales were cut off at 32,000. It’s still undetermined how many season tickets will be issued, but the ownership group has committed to giving at least some tickets to all 32,000.

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