Tukwila group is the only one from the three Seattle-area groups to announce its intention to apply — so far.

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NHL expansion applicants now have fewer than two weeks to let the league know whether they are serious.

Word from a local source, confirmed by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in an e-mail on Tuesday, is that the expansion application will be a three-part process with teams having to commit to applying by July 20. A report by TSN in Canada said the league is asking each applicant for a seven-figure fee “north of $1 million’’ from each applicant, but Daly would not confirm that number or whether the money needs to be paid by the first-stage deadline.

Connecticut investment banker Ray Bartoszek, who is trying to build an arena in Tukwila, has said he will apply. San Francisco-based hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen, who is pushing a Sodo District arena project, is still trying to work out a hockey funding deal with NHL partner Victor Coleman.

There is no word yet on whether either of two groups looking at building an arena in Bellevue – but which have yet to make their plans public – will be applying. But the new NHL deadline will force those groups and others across North America to make their plans known sooner rather than later.

The latter stages of the process, which wraps up Aug. 10, will require the groups to submit detailed evidence of their ability to pay the league’s $500 million expansion fee as well as to demonstrate a path towards accessing an arena to play in.

Potential owners in Kansas City and Houston have already indicated they will not be participating. But groups in Las Vegas, Quebec City and suburban Toronto have stated their intentions to apply.