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Bettman: Seattle should 'actually build a building' before talking expansion

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Gary Bettman didn't mince words when asked about the city of Seattle's pursuit of a new multi-sport arena.

"We're not paying a lot of attention to Seattle," the NHL commissioner said Monday at the PrimeTime Sports & Entertainment Conference in Toronto, according to's Dan Rosen.

"If they ever put a shovel in the ground and actually build a building instead of just talking about one, we might pay attention. But it's not something we're monitoring. We're not focusing on future expansion at this point and we're not focusing on Seattle over anywhere else."

Related: Russell Wilson partners with NBA, NHL arena group in Seattle

Despite Bettman's talk, deputy commissioner Bill Daly stressed that expansion to Seattle isn't completely off the table.

"I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility of further expansion at some point in the future, but it's certainly not on the radar screen today," he said.

"Our primary focus on the expansion front is making sure Las Vegas gets in successfully and that everything we've put into place for them to enter the league progresses the way it was intended to progress."

Las Vegas was the only city awarded an NHL expansion franchise in June. Quebec City's bid was accepted but ultimately deferred, while Seattle's did not make the final stage of the bidding process.

Last month, Chris Hansen and his group of investors offered to privately finance their proposed arena project that would bring a new single-venue NHL and NBA facility to Seattle's SoDo neighborhood.

Mayor Ed Murray told local TV station King 5 News that he's targeting early spring for a decision on whether to approve Hansen's plan or potentially entertain another option, such as renovating KeyArena, the former home of the NBA's SuperSonics.

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