Report: NHL Chooses Las Vegas For NHL Expansion

An anonymous AP source with direct knowledge of the situation has reported that the NHL has decided to expand to Las Vegas allegedly for the 2017-18 season. Meanwhile the bid from Quebec City is out of the running. The NHL expands to another western market in the United States and denies another team to Canada, at least for now.

Report: NHL Chooses Las Vegas For NHL Expansion

Las Vegas

While NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the top brass at the league offices have kept their cards close to the vest, the entire hockey world would have been shocked if the Las Vegas expansion bid was denied.

It’s hard to find a reason for the NHL not to expand to Las Vegas. The bid has a smart, dedicated and deep-pocketed owner in Bill Foley. A brand new, state-of-the-art 20,000-seat palace called T-Mobile Arena is in place. The market is one of the top 30 in the US. The Las Vegas franchise is already closing in on 15,000 full season ticket deposits. The luxury suites at T-Mobile Arena are sold as well. Las Vegas is also a solid market for TV ratings.

As the first professional sports league to put a team in Las Vegas, the chances of NHL expansion success increase.

Quebec City

Unfortunately, the Quebecor Group has reportedly been left out of expansion this time around. Like Las Vegas, Quebec City has a state of the art building in place today in the Centre Videotron, as well as an ownership group ready to write the $500 million check to secure a second NHL team in Quebec.

Questions of market size (Quebec City has a population a just over 500,000) and the Canadian dollar were major red flags. The final nail in the coffin probably was if an NHL franchise had to move (Carolina Hurricanes) and added a franchise Quebec City via expansion, where would Carolina go?

It’s a joyous day in Las Vegas but a tough one in Quebec City. However, there is still a reasonable chance for Quebec City to have a hockey team soon, likely due to relocation.

Main Photo: