Monday's deadline for NHL expansion franchise applications passed without a submission from the Toronto area.
“While we continue to focus on developing the GTA Centre, we were not able to complete the necessary work by the application deadline,” a spokesperson for GTASE told Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun.
“We hope that another such opportunity presents itself in the future.”
Roustan's group has been trying to build the 18,000-seat GTA Centre in the Toronto suburb of Markham, Ontario.
The NHL announced plans to begin the formal expansion process on June 24, and Roustan seemed optimistic at the time.
"I’d say that in the coming days we intend to reach out to the league about bringing another NHL franchise to southern Ontario,” he told Zeisberger last month.
“(The league’s announcement) means different things to different people. We’re now seeing an opportunity for a process to apply for an NHL franchise which we’ve privately been hoping for. We’re going to proceed with the process. Hopefully we’re successful with it.”
The main hurdle has been the construction of the arena. Markham city council voted against using public funds to finance the original project in 2013.
Roustan has been open to building elsewhere in the city, citing an estimated cost of $325 million, but that number has essentially grown by about $100 million thanks to the struggling Canadian dollar.
Toronto isn't the only potential expansion city to have its bid derailed by arena issues. It was reported Monday that none of the three groups interested in bringing an NHL team to Seattle submitted applications, all for the same reason.
- With h/t to Pro Hockey Talk