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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman laughs at a news conference in Victoria, BC on Friday, March 30th. Loves Victoria.

The City of Victoria has been granted preliminary approval to seek an NHL expansion franchise.

Gary Bettman, the commissionaire of the NHL, is expected to announce via press conference the preliminary approval being granted to seek an NHL franchise on Tuesday, April 2nd.

Also on the agenda is preliminary approval for Quebec City, Kansas City and Seattle.

Only two cities can be approved of the total four, “ticket sales, sponsorship and investment will prevail,” said Bettman. “Don’t kid yourself, you will need to do what Winnipeg did and sell out deposits in minutes after they are announced as available.”

Victoria mayor Lisa Helps’ suggested an idea for where an 18,000 to 20,000-seat arena can be built, which left many shocked.

“The best bet will be to tear down View Towers and Harris Green to build the arena there. Jawl Properties will be managing the project and they have already purchased some of the land,” shared Helps. “They own most of the rest of Victoria as it is.”

The question council was asking was, “how can Helps make a recommendation to displace so many people when we already have a housing crisis?”

The answer wasn’t clear, but the building may cost in the area of 110-million dollars. Same price as the new bridge.

“And it will be built faster,” she added.

“I expect that there will be less protest than when we approved the bike lanes.”

The Victoria franchise is expected to begin play in 2020.

As for a possible name for this unlikely franchise Helps suggested a few. “We will put to a public poll, but currently the names we are working with are Victoria Redskins, Victoria Islanders and Vancouver Island Colonials.”