New Seattle NHL team to subsidize public transit for fans

SEATTLE — Seattle’s expansion NHL franchise is trying to make it easier for fans to get to its games in the traffic-clogged city.

NHL Seattle announced Tuesday that it will fully subsidize public transit costs for fans with season tickets or single-game tickets.

Additionally, the team is entering into a partnership with the Seattle Center Monorail to upgrade the current system connecting downtown Seattle with the Seattle Center, where the team’s arena is under construction. The team will invest $7 million for upgrades at the downtown station for the monorail system, which was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair.

The public transit subsidy makes Seattle the third franchise in the U.S. to offer that benefit to fans, according to the team. Rob Johnson, the team’s vice president for transportation, said the franchise expects 25% of fans to use public transit to attend games in the inaugural 2021-22 season.

“We respect the history of the Monorail and want to remind people of its original intent. I couldn’t be prouder to align with a company that shares our values and ambitions.” team CEO and President Tod Leiweke said. “By offering embedded public transit we are making the right decision for our fans and for the city.”

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