In the last twelve hours or so NHL Expansion news has gone insane. At first came reports from the Vancouver Province that an NHL Expansion team in Las VEgas is a “done deal”. This alone is a lot to digest for most NHL fans as most fans seem to abhor the idea of another round of Sun Belt NHL Expansion, for which the league is going 50/50 right now as Arizona is staying put while the poor Atlanta Thrashers experiment ended in relocation to a traditional NHL location. [category-related]
Then the other shoe dropped. Howard Bloom of Sports Business News tweeted that FOUR teams, Quebec City, Toronto, Seattle and Las Vegas, would be added to the league by 2017. TVA Sports reported earlier today that Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly denied the reports of four expansion teams or of teams relocating and said there is nothing new to report.
While the dust settles on everything else I do want to provide a contrary opinion to most on the prospects of a team in Vegas. I think it is a great idea. First it seems to fill gap on the NHL map filling out the Southwest and creating more regional rivalries.
Rendering of the new MGM AEG Arena that will be built adjacent to the Monte Carlo. Story tonight at 6, 7p pic.twitter.com/KNvpz5wkR1
— Gerard Ramalho (@gmannews) November 5, 2013
The franchise would also add a decent sized television market that hopefully the team would dominate as it would be the only local live sports aside from UNLV sports for most of the season. The team would have no problem filling corporate sponsorships or selling all of the suites, which it is said the MGM-AEG arena has many of. Ticket sales will be an odd combination of fans and comped tickets from Casinos. It would never be the loudest crowd but it would make an eclectic, and profitable, addition to the league.