NEW YORK - UPDATE: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday the league’s board of governors recommended moving forward with Seattle’s application to expand there.
ORIGINAL TEXT: A big pitch for professional hockey in Seattle is happening in New York City Tuesday.
The 25,000 hockey fans who put big money down earlier this year hoping to see a Seattle NHL team play in 2020 have done their part.
Now it all comes down to a big sales pitch behind closed doors from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and the NHL Seattle investors to executives at NHL headquarters in Times Square in New York.
KIRO 7 Reporter Gary Horcher spoke to a New York Rangers fan as he was leaving the NHL fan shop about whether Seattle should get a team.
“NHL needs another high energy team. Like look what Vegas did! I think Seattle could do something similar,” said Tim White.
Durkan will make her own pitch to NHL bosses, selling Seattle as the future of the league.
Durkan says she's approaching it partly as an evangelist for the city for the new $700 million arena, but mostly as a hockey fan.
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“You don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, you just … I just wear it here for everybody to see. Seattle’s going to make history. We’re going to get that NHL team,” Durkan said earlier this year.
Durkan says she'll tell league executives she's one of more than 25,000 hockey fans who put expensive cash deposits down, hoping to get a seat in a new arena which will seat 17,000 for hockey.
“They’re going to be looking at Seattle with a microscope – number one, is this a place that can succeed? And I think the answer to this is clearly, yes. We showed that by selling out $10,000 season tickets in 12 minutes,” said Durkan.
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