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Seattle sold 10,000 NHL season tickets in 12 minutes for team that doesn’t exist yet

Think the city is excited?

Seattle is so excited for the possibility of another professional sports team that people are already clamoring for tickets for a franchise that doesn’t yet exist.

The season ticket drive was part of a pilot program to prove to prospective owners that there’s a market for hockey in Seattle — and so far the response is overwhelming. The NHL is considering an expansion bid from the city which is headed up by Tim Leiweke, representing David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, prospective owners of the team.

Renovations to KeyArena are expected to finish by 2020, and will expand seating to accommodate 17,000 for hockey. This means over half the arena is already sold, including critically important club seats.

If these numbers hold, it will be a huge boon to Seattle’s bid, as they can represent a real and sustainable market in the area. The enthusiasm comes as no surprise to Seattle natives, who have seen MLS attendance routinely top 100 percent for the Sounders, while the Seahawks in the NFL were third in the league last year by capacity.

The team is scheduled to begin play in 2020-21, assuming the NHL accepts the expansion bid.