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SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena on Monday Jeff Carter Jersey , clearing one of the last major hurdles in the city’s bid to land an expansion NHL franchise.

The 8-0 vote was the last step needed to strengthen Seattle’s expansion application and it means a team could be playing in the new building during the 2020-21 season.

The next phase in the arena/franchise process comes next week when Seattle Hockey Partners, the ownership group attempting to land the expansion team, presents before the NHL Board of Governors’ Executive Committee.

“It’s a good moment. I think it’s the beginning of the journey. It’s not the end of the journey. We have a lot of work to do, but at least now we get to go do the work,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, which is undertaking the renovation of the building that opened in 1962.

The vote ended a debate that began in the mid-2000s when Howard Schultz, then the owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, said the city-owned KeyArena needed renovations. The lack of luxury amenities and a challenging lease agreement ultimately led to the Sonics leaving following the 2008 season and moving to Oklahoma City, where the franchise was rebranded as the Thunder.

Numerous arena plans have been presented since but none had gotten to this point. And while the vote didn’t provide healing for fans hurt by the Sonics move, it did create the likelihood that the city will land an NHL team soon and could one day see the NBA return.

“This is just a great deal for the city. … This is world class. This is a legacy project Ivan Provorov Jersey ,” City Council President Bruce Harrell said.

For now, the NHL is the priority. The pitch to the Executive Committee next week should be mostly straightforward. Seattle is the largest market in the United States that doesn’t have a winter professional sports team. The local economy is booming and season ticket deposits for the prospective team were cut off at 33,000 earlier this year after a swell of interest.

“I don’t think we have to say much,” said Tod Leiweke, President and CEO of Seattle Hockey Partners. “I think it speaks for itself. An 8-0 vote, a process that concluded when many people said it just simply couldn’t be done. We said we were going to put our best forward and today the city helps us do that.”

The goal is to have the building ready by the fall of 2020 so a team could start that season. Hitting that target will depend partly on when construction can actually begin. Part of the agreement with the city requires that an NHL franchise be acquired before arena construction can begin. Whether conditional approval from the NHL or a recommendation from the Executive Committee is enough to begin that process may depend on the city.

Either way, Tim Leiweke said every minute is precious in getting the project done in essentially two years.

“But there is no reason that we can’t hopefully get a little bit of momentum next week and convince people that a November, push-dirt, get in there and start working, works,” Leiweke said.

The final scheduled event for the arena in its current state is an Oct. 5 NBA exhibition game between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. At some point after that Steve Young Jersey , the keys will be turned over to Oak View Group.

“Now we really get to dream about the National Hockey League, we get to dream about a presentation next week, we get to dream about the return of the NBA. Let’s go,” Tod Leiweke said.

Cameron Meredith got a chance to show what he can bring to the Saints' offense.

Meredith caught two passes for 72 yards and a touchdown in a 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the teams' preseason finale Thursday night. The former Bears wide receiver was one of the top free agents signed by the Saints, who brought him in even though he had major knee surgery last fall.

Meredith's rehab from the injury has gone well, but he was limited in training camp and didn't catch a pass in the first three preseason games. In this one, though, he had no restrictions.

"I couldn't have asked for a better day," Meredith said. "All these opportunities and plays that I was able to make tonight really help me going into (the regular season)."

Meredith caught a 56-yard pass from Taysom Hill to set up rookie Boston Scott's 4-yard touchdown run for the game's first score in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Hill threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Meredith for a 12-0 halftime lead.

Hill targeted Meredith throughout the first half, overthrowing him on a 2-point conversion attempt and a third-down pass into the end zone before Wil Lutz's 34-yard field goal. That made it 15-0 for the Saints (3-1).

Next up for Meredith is a chance to team up with starting quarterback Drew Brees in the regular season.

In the third quarter Womens Eli Manning Jersey , two linebackers competing for one of the final spots on the Saints' roster teamed up for a touchdown. Colton Jumper blocked a punt, Jayrone Elliott picked up the ball and ran 2 yards for a touchdown.

Jonathan Williams ran 3 yards for a touchdown that completed the scoring in the fourth quarter.

"We finished the preseason well on both sides of the ball," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "I thought we won both lines of scrimmages, which is always important. Our special teams were outstanding. We blocked a punt while rushing six guys."

The Rams (2-2), like the Saints, rested most of their starters in order to focus on players competing for the final roster spots. LA coach Sean McVay didn't play any of his offensive starters in the preseason.

Third-year quarterback Brandon Allen started in place of Jared Goff and played into the third quarter, going 7 of 13 for 57 yards and an interception.

Rookie free agent Nick Holley, a converted quarterback from Kent State, started in place of Todd Gurley and rushed 11 times for 31 yards.

"Tonight was a tough night," Rams coach Sean McVay said. "We have a lot of tough decisions to make over the next couple of days. We feel good about where we are as a team in terms of our health. We're doing our best to take steps one day at a time to be at our best on Sept. 10. We're looking forward to getting started with these games that count."

BRIDGEWATER WATCHES

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, whom New Orleans acquired in a trade with the New York Jets on Wednesday Wayne Simmonds Jersey , was on the Saints sideline but was not in uniform.

"I don't mind waiting," Bridgewater said. "I get to learn with one of the best players to ever play this game."

He was brought in to back up Brees and perhaps someday replace the 39-year-old quarterback.

"(He makes) good decisions, accurate, smart, can move, can make the first guy miss," Payton said. "He's a winner. He won in college. He's won in the NFL."

NATIONAL ANTHEM

It did not appear that any players chose to sit, kneel or stay off the field while the national anthem was sung.

INJURIES

Rams: No injuries.

Saints: G Andrus Peat went to the locker room accompanied by a member of the training staff in the first quarter and did not return. He underwent surgery for a broken fibula and ligament damage in January. DT Taylor Stallworth was escorted to the sideline by trainers after being tended to in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Rams: visit Oakland on Sept. 10.

Saints: host Tampa Bay on Sept. 9.

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