NHL Seattle expansion team making progress on nickname

NHL Seattle expansion team making progress on nickname

The NHL Seattle expansion team is making progress toward the announcement of its name, logo and colors.

“Some have speculated it’s a long time off. It’s not,” NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke said Thursday. “Vegas did it a year out. We’ll do it well in advance of that.”

The Vegas Golden Knights, the previous NHL expansion team, announced their name, logo and colors Nov. 22, 2016, and made their regular-season debut on Oct. 6, 2017. Seattle will begin play in the 2021-22 season.

“This is one of those issues where you want to measure twice and cut once, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Leiweke said. “And we’d like to think when we do roll it out, people will say, ‘Hey, they got it.’ And so, we’re working away on it, and that’s the next stop.”

NHL Seattle is going through the trademark process with multiple finalists.

“If you camp out on one name with everything that happens in the trademark world, you put yourself at some risk, so we’ve got a handful of names that we think can work,” Leiweke said. “We probably have a leader in the clubhouse. But we’re working away on it. And it’s not going to happen this afternoon, but it won’t be too far off.”

Amazon announced Thursday it purchased the naming rights to the building in which NHL Seattle will play. The building will be called Climate Pledge Arena, modeled on The Climate Pledge, which was created by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019 and calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040. 

Images of the building released Thursday used shades of green and some light blue.

“Obviously the colors that fit with the climate pledge are green,” Leiweke said. “I’m not sure I’d read into that. The team is going to have its own unique identity, and colors and wordmarks, all those things, are going to go into what we think will be a fantastic brand when we’re done.”

An 18,100-seat new arena is being constructed under the iconic roof of the former Key Arena near the Space Needle in Seattle Center. Leiweke said construction was not materially delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, which paused the NHL season March 12, and will be complete in time for the 2021-22 season.

Asked if the building will be ready in time to potentially host the 2021 NHL Draft, Leiweke said: “It depends on when that season launches and when the draft is, but we’re a group with ambition, and that would be an incredible way to start a franchise.”

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