SEATTLE - There's a push to bring another professional hockey team to Seattle, this time a women's team.
The grassroots group NWHL Seattle is looking to build off the success of NHL Seattle, which was awarded an expansion team to start play in 2021.
Leaders in the group tell KIRO 7 they have the blessing and support of the National Women’s Hockey League to try to rally support and find an ownership group for a Seattle team. The NWHL was founded in 2015 and currently has four teams on the East Coast and one in Minneapolis.
Excitement surrounding women's hockey is at an all-time high coming off Team USA's Olympic success in 2018.
“Having the women's team bring home the gold was monumental,” Kelly Stephens-Tysland told KIRO 7 on Tuesday.
She knows a thing or two about Olympic women's hockey. The Shoreline native won a bronze medal playing for Team USA in the 2006 games.
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“I was playing boys hockey growing up out here,” Stephens-Tysland said. “And it has changed very much since then.”
She says getting an NWHL team in Seattle would be huge for all women's sports in our region and would further grow girls' youth hockey.
The NHL Seattle practice facility will be built in Northgate and is scheduled to be done in 2021. The NWHL Seattle team is eyeing this as a place where the women would play.
“The size of the sheet and the size of the stands would be awesome for a women's professional team,” Stephens-Tysland said.
The leaders of NWHL Seattle are currently lobbying to have the 2022 NWHL All-Star game in Seattle, with a team ideally starting that year.
“It's been a thought, it's been a dream, it's been a hope,” Stephens-Tysland. “And now is a great time to make it a reality.”
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