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NFL COO Tod Leiweke stepped down Tuesday and reports indicate that the former Seahawks CEO will team up with his brother and help lead Seattle’s potential new NHL franchise.

Both the Seattle Times and KIRO Radio report that Leiweke will return to Seattle and join his brother, Tim Leiweke, who heads up Oak View Group, the ownership firm trying to bring an NHL expansion team to the Emerald City.

Leiweke spent the past three years as a top NFL executive and led the Seahawks from 2003 to 2010. He spoke at our GeekWire Sports Tech Summit this past summer and talked about everything from the league’s streaming deal with Amazon to declining TV ratings. Leiweke also called Seattle “an amazing place in sports.”

“Tod Leiweke stands alone in our city’s sports history, which is littered with showmen, carpetbaggers and cheapskates,” wrote 710 ESPN’s Danny O’Neil. “He is quite simply the most successful sports executive that this city has ever known.”

Oak View Group kicked off a season ticket drive earlier this month that racked up 33,000 deposits. The ownership group, which also includes David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, is aiming to renovate Key Arena and secure an expansion team for the 2020-21 season.

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