The Latest: NHL approves Seattle expansion for '21-22 season

NHL logo sign, Photo Date: June 2010 / Cropped Photo: Marlon E / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)
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SEA ISLAND, Ga. (AP) -- UPDATE: The NHL Board of Governors has voted unanimously to approve expansion to Seattle.

Twenty-four of 31 votes were needed to award the league's 32nd franchise to the Emerald City. Commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to make the formal announcement at noon Eastern.

Play is expected to begin in 2021, depending on the progress of arena renovations for Seattle's first major winter sports team since the NBA's SuperSonics left town in 2008.

On Tuesday, NHL officials are voting to decide if the city Seattle, Washington will get there very own professional hockey team.

If approved, a Seattle-based organization would be the first NHL expansion team since the Vegas Golden Knights entered the league last season.

The Seattle team could begin play as early as 2020.