Report: NHL expected to approve Las Vegas for expansion team
The NHL's executive committee is expected to recommend expansion ahead of Board vote
The NHL will be expanding and it appears that Las Vegas will be the only new market getting a team, according to the Associated Press. Per an AP source, Las Vegas expansion is a "done deal" following the recommendation of the NHL's executive committee which met last week in New York to discuss the prospects of expansion.
A person with direct knowledge of the NHL's decision says the league has settled on Las Vegas as its choice for expansion, provided organizers can come up with a $500 million fee.
The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because details have not been released by the league ahead of its Board of Governors meeting on June 22. Quebec City was also considered for expansion.
UPDATE: Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that the executive committee was unanimous in its decision to recommend expansion, though the NHL and Las Vegas' potential ownership group have not and likely will not comment.
The NHL still has to have its final vote from the Board of Governors, which will be meeting on June 22 in Las Vegas. However, it is widely believed that the Board would lean heavily on the recommendation of the executive committee - a select group of owners and NHL execs - for guidance in their decision.
The NHL has already said that the earliest they would be expanding is the 2017-18 season.
Billionaire Bill Foley has been spearheading the efforts to bring an NHL team to Las Vegas. He has shown a commitment to paying the expansion fee and the team has already gotten more than 13,000 deposits for season tickets.
T-Mobile Arena, which will be the home of the potential Las Vegas NHL team, opened just off of the Las Vegas Strip in April.
This news will probably be disappointing for Quebec City, the former home of the Quebec Nordiques. However, executives from Quebecor have been downplaying their expansion chances for weeks now. The weak Canadian dollar is a big a reason for the apprehension to expand presently. You'd have to expect Quebec City will remain in the mix in the future if the league looks to expand to 32 teams or relocate a failing franchise.
For now, it looks like the NHL is about to become the first major professional league to put a team in Las Vegas.
More to come.
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