What a Season-Ticket Drive in Las Vegas Means for Potential NHL Expansion

December 9th, 2014 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »

On Monday, the prospect of NHL expansion to Las Vegas took a big step forward.

At the league’s Board of Governors meeting, commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the NHL was going allow potential franchise owner Bill Foley to conduct a season-ticket drive to assess how much interest there would be in a team based out of the city.

Of course, Bettman didn’t put it quite that plainly. He took great pains to downplay the news. The video of the announcement is well worth watching just for the sheer number of limitations and caveats that Bettman arranged around that one bit of hard news:

Bettman didn’t even say that the NHL was allowing the season-ticket drive—he instead said that the league’s board had “no objection to giving them an opportunity to explore what the level of interest in having a professional sports team in Las Vegas might be.”

He stressed that there was no agreement to expand, let alone sell a team to any given ownership group in any given city. He made it clear that there might not be sufficient interest in Las Vegas, and further that even if ...

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