The San Jose Sharks and the city of San Jose, California, reached a significant agreement Friday as a lease extension for the SAP Center could keep the organization in place until 2040.
The news was made official by the Sharks and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo on the team's official website.
Per Mark Purdy of the Mercury News, this agreement ensures that the Sharks will stay put until at least 2025, although it can be extended for an additional 15 years after that:
According to Sharks.NHL.com, league commissioner Gary Bettman is thrilled that there is now certainty regarding the Sharks as well as the SAP Center:
The agreement between the City of San Jose and the San Jose Sharks to extend the team's lease is wonderful news for the National Hockey League, for the Sharks—and, most importantly—for the great fans in San Jose, who make 'The Shark Tank' one of our loudest and most exciting arenas. The lease extension underscores (Sharks owner) Hasso Plattner's commitment to the San Jose community, provides the long-term continuity that he always has prioritized, and ensures that one of our proudest and most-successful franchises will stay at SAP Center for many years to come.
Purdy also reports that Liccardo believes that the extension could set the stage for a new arena moving forward:
We have been talking to the Sharks about how we make arrangements for the construction of another facility here in San Jose. At some point we know, within our lifetimes, this arena will outlive its useful life. We know we have one of the oldest arenas already in the NHL. Hard to believe that's true, but it is. So whether it's a significant upgrade to this arena—it's got to be more than a face-lift, obviously—or the construction of a new one, we need to start having conversations about those sites.
The SAP Center has been in place since 1993, so it is only natural that there has been talk about transitioning to a new venue down the line.
Regardless of when that happens, the important thing is that the Sharks are staying in San Jose for a long time to come, and that will only help the continued growth of hockey in California.
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