SUN Hockey Pool

Seattle groups eye NHL expansion franchise

This aerial view looking south shows the cluster of Seattle's current NFL and MLB professional...

This aerial view looking south shows the cluster of Seattle's current NFL and MLB professional sports stadiums and also the adjacent location where billionaire Chris Hansen has proposed to build a NBA/NHL arena as pictured from a helicopter August 21, 2012. (REUTERS/Anthony Bolante)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:52 PM ET

NHL expansion into Seattle is gaining steam as behind-the-scenes negotiations are being held between the league and potential ownership groups, according to the Seattle Times.

Talks between the league and local officials went far enough that an announcement could be made within weeks following the conclusion of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

That would mean the league would need to make the announcement by the summer at the latest to help the franchise prepare a temporary arena ahead of play and give the ownership group enough time to market the new franchise locally.

An expansion franchise, to begin play in the 2015-16 season, would be expected to pay a fee of between $200-250 million to join the league.


Photos