Seattle and the NHL Making Second Attempt for NHL Team - Trak | Partnership Activation Software

Seattle and the NHL Making Second Attempt for NHL Team
Posted On: Dec 06, 2018

This time it looks more promising for the city to receive its own hockey franchise.

Seattle has a fun, but somewhat unknown history with sports franchises. Many people are aware that the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. Several factors lead to this change and the move makes sense.

Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and effected both the New Orleans Saints and the Hornets (now Pelicans). The Saints' home football stadium was used a shelter for locals suffering from the storm and they were forced to play their home games elsewhere, mostly at LSU's football stadium and in San Antonio. 

The Hornets on the other hand, left the area completely and played its entire season in Oklahoma City. This set the seeds for a basketball franchise to relocate due to the reception Oklahoma City provided the Hornets. 

On the other side, the ownership group of the Supersonics could not get support from the government to fund updates for their arena. As a result, they sold the team to another ownership group based out of Oklahoma City. When the new owners could not get public funding in Seattle, they decided to relocate and take Seattle's basketball team away.

Ever since this move in 2008, Seattle has been left with only the Seahawks and Mariners despite their reputation as a sports town. That was until recently when the NHL approved for a hockey franchise to move in by 2021. While Seattle has had other professional hockey teams, this will be the first NHL team in the city. But it was not the first time the NHL approved a franchise for Seattle.

Back in the mid-70's, the NHL approved expansion teams to Denver and Seattle. Seattle's franchise was slated to open play in 1976. However, the ownership group spearheading this expansion were very unorganized and after several failures, the NHL pulled the franchise from Seattle before it could ever begin.

Now in 2018, the NHL and Seattle seemed destined for a hockey franchise once again. Things seem a little more stable and concrete than they did in the mid-70's. The franchise will be located in the same arena that the city refused to fund, but this time they are relying more on privately funding the updates. Of course, with the immediate and unexpected success of the Vegas Golden Knights, Seattle's team may have some extra high expectations.

With a few years until the team officially plays its first game, all the detailed planning lies ahead. From the team name and uniforms to arena updates and finding sponsors. Of course fans are already speculating the team name and color schemes. What are some of your ideas? Tweet us what you think it will be. 

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess they will be called the Seattle Steelheads-the Washington State fish.

Written by: James Campbell

James Campbell is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with his B.A. in Sport Management. Throughout his time at Michigan, he has worked with Detroit City FC, MiLife Sport & Social Club, and USA Hockey. - @Jimmy10Campbell