The NHL’s 32nd expansion team hasn’t taken the ice yet, but they are already engraved in the Seattle community.
NHL Seattle and Oak View Group announced Tuesday that their leadership, staff and partners have raised $1 million to support local at-risk families in the Seattle area, as well as nonprofit organizations on the Seattle Center campus.
#NHLSeattle, @oakviewgroup & partners come together to donate $1 million to @UnitedWayKC & @seattlecenter that will go to families in need & provide support for nonprofit groups on the Seattle Center campus.— NHL Seattle (@NHLSeattle_) April 14, 2020
More → https://t.co/GzerVp0Lsd pic.twitter.com/BbxHfXfYbu
"Our NHL and New Arena dreams for Seattle were born out of a strong collaboration and partnership with the City to create something powerful and lasting for our community," NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke said in a release. "In that spirit, we are committed to giving back to those among us with an urgent and immediate need."
The donation will benefit the United Way of King County, who will distribute $800,000 in grocery vouchers to individuals who have recently lost their jobs or seen a significant reduction in their hours due to the coronavirus pandemic
"These grocery vouchers will be critical to helping workers put food on the table,” Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said. “I'm deeply grateful to our partners at OVG and NHL Seattle for their donation to support these efforts."
The remaining $200,000 will help create grants for nonprofit resident organizations on the Seattle Center campus. Organizations include Seattle Children’s Museum, Pacific Northwest Ballet, KING-FM, Pacific Science Center and more.
"The scale of their losses dwarf what we are able to address," NHL Seattle Vice President of Community Engagement and Philanthropy Mari Horita said. "But as a future neighbor, we made these gifts as a heartfelt gesture of support and solidarity. Also, if we can raise awareness of their plight and encourage others to support, that helps too."
NHL Seattle will drop the first puck in 2021, but preparation for the first season has already begun for the team. Despite the league being paused due the coronavirus pandemic, the Seattle team is working diligently on logos, colors and of course, the team name.
General manager Ron Francis said the team is waiting on an appropriate time to share the name with the public.
“We’re still going through that process with the league, working hard on the trademark and the legal process,” Francis said. “Trust me when I say our people are really working hard on this and soon as we’ve completed it, we’ll look at how our community is doing and when is the right time to announce that name.”