Las Vegas and Quebec are in.
That’s what we know so far about the NHL expansion bid process — on Monday, both Quebecor and Bill Foley’s Black Knight Sports and Entertainment confirmed they’d officially filed applications for expansion with the league while other rumored bidders, including Seattle’s Ray Bartoszek, have reportedly declined.
— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) July 20, 2015
Told the non-bid by the Bartoszek group was — not surprisingly — money-related. Not the application fee, more the $500M team pricetag #NHL
— Geoff Baker (@GeoffBakerTIMES) July 20, 2015
Money appeared to be an issue for a number of expansion suitors, as $2 million of the $10M expansion fee is non-refundable.
Despite that, the fact there’s no Seattle-based bids is somewhat surprising, given the three different local groups interested in bringing the NHL to the Pacific Northwest: Bartoszek and his Tukwila arena project, Victor Coleman and his SoDo neighborhood project (who on Friday said they were out) and a third group linked to a team in Bellevue, Seattle’s largest suburb.
(The Star is reporting there remains a possibility that “one more city — perhaps Seattle — may backdoor its way into the process.”)
As for other rumored expansion suitors, Paul Allen’s Portland group said there was “nothing imminent” while Toronto’s Graeme Roustan — who said he would “definitely” apply for a second NHL team in the GTA — appears to have passed on the bid process as well.
The complete expansion picture should be clearer soon. Per the Star, the league is expected to make an announcement later in the week.