Hockey in Las Vegas a Growing Possibility

The National Hockey League Board of Governors has given approval for the NHL to accept applications as part of the formal expansion process. The NHL has not yet decided whether or not is will expand, but many are hopeful Las Vegas is the number one choice if they do decide to grow. At left, the Stanley Cup on the High Roller at the Linq.

It sure would be nice if the National Hockey League would stop beating around the bush about the possibility of expansion. The league has hinted recently that it is in fact considering expanding the league from 30 teams to 32. The NHL Board of Governors gave approval for the league to accept applications from interested parties to expand.

In addition to Las Vegas, Seattle and Quebec City have expressed an interest in housing teams, as well. Quebec has had 2 NHL teams, the Bulldogs, who only played one season, 1919-1920, and the Nordiques, who were around from 1979-1995, before relocating to Colorado, and winning the Stanley Cup in their first year in the Rockies.

Seattle has never had an NHL team, but did have the Seattle Metropolitans, who played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915-1924, and actually were the first United States hockey team to win the Stanley Cup, doing so in 1917, before the championship was strictly relegated to NHL teams.

Billionaire Bill Foley has led the charge here in Las Vegas to push for an NHL team, along with the Maloof brothers, who are no strangers to Las Vegas, and owned the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association from 1998 to 2013.

Foley has secured over 11,500 season tickets for a potential team, without even reaching out to casinos. Clearly, plenty of interest is there, but it is just a matter of whether or not the NHL chooses to expand and whether or not the reputation of gambling in Las Vegas plays a factor.

The fact that less than over 63 percent of revenue on the Strip last year was from nongaming shows the city is diversifying and not just a one-trick pony. Applications will be accepted through August 10.