NHL Seattle and the Oak View Group are holding a Monday morning news conference in Palm Springs at which time they could officially confirm the city as site of the future team’s American Hockey League affiliate.
OVG head Tim Leiweke for now is planning to provide updates on a $250 million arena his company has committed to build in the California-based desert community. But the planned presence at the 10 a.m. PT news conference of his younger brother, Tod Leiweke, the CEO of NHL Seattle, could be an indication an official announcement on the AHL franchise is imminent.
For now, a release put out Friday by the brothers would only indicate Tod Leiweke plans “an update” on the AHL application.
The Leiwekes announced in late June that they’d submitted a franchise application to the AHL and that OVG was partnering with the local Agua Caliente Indian tribe to build a 10,000-seat, 300,000 square-foot arena that would house the hockey farm team. The AHL has remained mum ever since on the status of the application and whether NHL Seattle was competing with any other groups hoping to put an expansion club in a different city.
NHL Seattle had looked at a variety of places to put their AHL team, eventually narrowing it down to Palm Springs and Boise. The future NHL club chose Palm Springs because of its proximity to multiple other AHL franchises and a large Los Angeles population center. They also felt it conveninet because of direct flights to and from Seattle and the fact a large number of Pacific Northwest residents have second homes there, or use the destination for vacations.