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Proctor city councilor who wants NFL team now pushes for NHL team

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The same man who wants to bring an NFL team to northern Minnesota has now suggested bringing a professional hockey team to the area.

Proctor City Councilor Travis White presented the idea at Monday's city council meeting – and the idea passed with unanimous support, Northland's NewsCenter reports.

White says he didn't plan to pitch the idea so soon after suggesting to bring an NFL team to the Twin Ports area earlier this spring, but then fate stepped in, the Duluth News Tribune said.

Some were skeptical of his idea to bring an NFL team to the area, noting an NHL franchise would be a better fit for the hockey-loving region – and a few weeks later NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the NHL would explore the idea of expanding the league, setting an Aug. 10 deadline for interested markets to apply.

White says Proctor is a prime place for a professional hockey team because it already has a fan base, noting the region's college programs have shown they can bring in attendance numbers comparable to some established NHL markets, Northland's NewsCenter says.

He also says having an NHL team would bring in tourism, revenue and create jobs, FOX 21 says.

Having the city council's support will help get the application process started, Northland's NewsCenter says. But it comes at a price: The fee to apply for an expansion franchise is upwards of $1 million (only a portion is refundable), TSN said, and the city will have to prove its able to fund the roughly $500 million expansion fee.

The NHL doesn't expect to add any new teams to the league before the 2017-18 season, and decisions on terms of expansion or the number of teams to be added have not been made, NHL.com reported.

Also at Monday's meeting, White introduced a second resolution for the construction of a multi-use arena – it passed 3-2, Northland's NewsCenter says. White said this could be used for the NHL team, as well as concerts and perhaps even the state high school boy's hockey tournament, the Duluth News Tribune noted.

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