The NHL will be growing once again as the league granted a franchise to Seattle on Tuesday.

The Board of Governors voted on the expansion application at their meetings to accept the Seattle ownership group into the league by a unanimous 31-0 decision.

The club, which is still unnamed, will not start play for the 2020-21 NHL season but a year later in the fall of 2021. Seattle will join the Pacific Division allowing the Arizona Coyotes to move to the Central Division which will ensure both conferences have 16 teams and every division comprises eight teams. No other moves will happen in regard to realignment with Seattle joining the league and it will not take effect until the 2021-22 campaign.

Seattle Hockey Partners, the ownership group, is led by private equity CEO David Bonderman along with producer Jerry Bruckheimer. They will now be on the hook for the $650 million expansion fee which is $150 million more than what the Vegas Golden Knights paid in 2016.

Originally, the Seattle franchise was looking to hit the ice for the fall of 2020, however there were concerns on the league’s end about the timeline for the arena renovations. KeyArena, which is the former home for the NBA’s SuperSoncis, will see a renovation that is worth more than $700 million plus another $70 million has been set aside for a practice facility that should open around October 2020. That is around the same time that KeyArena will be done as well.

This will be the first NHL team that will play out of Seattle but not the first hockey team in the city that has competed for the Stanley Cup. The Pacific Coast Hockey Association had the Seattle Metropolitans play in the league and in 1917 they captured the Stanley Cup.

Over the years there have been many groups that have wanted to bring a team back to Seattle, but they did not have the financial backing, an arena plan or the amount of season ticket deposits like the Seattle Hockey Partners group had to make it successful.

When Seattle officially joins in 2022, the NHL will become just the second pro sports league in North America to have 32 teams, the other is the NFL.

The only drawback though is that the league is now not looking at expanding any further for the foreseeable future which means Quebec City is left out once again.