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Early returns suggest that Seattle is crazy for hockey.
As Seattle makes a bid to become the home of the 32nd NHL franchise, it has begun a season-ticket deposit drive, one that has seen it sell 10,000 season tickets in 12 minutes, according to what prospective owner Tim Leiweke told reporters Thursday.
There now are 25,000 tickets sold, 5,000 of which are club seats. The goal was to sell 10,000 for the revamped KeyArena, which would hold about 17,300 for NHL games.
The ticket drive, which aims to prove local interest, opened at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley did the same thing three years ago in Vegas’ process to join the NHL as its 31st team. More than 5,000 tickets were sold within two days and 9,000 season tickets were sold within two months, according to the Golden Knights. The Seattle ownership group did not share a target for sales.
The deposits for Seattle cost $500 for season tickets or $1,000 for club seats, which are at center ice in the lower level.
The ownership group includes Leiweke, a sports executive and Oak View Group chief executive; Jerry Bruckheimer, a film and TV producer; and David Bonderman, a billionaire investment banker.
The trio submitted their application for expansion with the NHL in February, and hope to know by June whether it’s been accepted.
They plan to remodel KeyArena, where the Sonics used to play, as the home of the NHL team. They say they can be ready by the 2020-21 season. The Sonics left Seattle after the 2007-08 season.
Vegas, in its first season, is tied for the NHL’s second-best record at 41-17-5. T-Mobile Arena has averaged 17,855, according to hockeydb.com.