NHL Gives Las Vegas "Ok" To Gauge Expansion Team Interest
Another step forward has been made in the long-talked-about idea of expanding the NHL to 31 teams and Las Vegas seems to be standing out more than Quebec City, Seattle and the GTA.
The NHL is testing a potential expansion to Las Vegas without committing to it.
The NHL’s board of governors did not object Monday when potential owner Bill Foley asked to hold a season-ticket drive to measure the interest level of hockey in Nevada.
However, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is saying, “don’t make more out of this than it is.”
“The sole purpose here would be to give, in this unique circumstance, Mr. Foley and his colleagues an opportunity to measure the level of interest in the market by conducting a season-ticket drive,” said Bettman .
“All it’s doing is letting him measure for his interest and ours whether or not the market will support a team, at least from that measure alone.”
Set to open in spring 2016, a 20,000-seat arena is under construction on the Las Vegas strip.
With Foley making this move, the same questions need to be answered in Seattle and, and geography hurts Quebec City and the GTA because there are already 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and only 14 in the Western Conference.
“There is no measure here. We haven’t ranked teams. We haven’t ranked markets. There is no process,” said Bettman.
“This is purely a request from someone under a unique situation asking for an opportunity to measure interest, and for example, I don’t think that would be necessary in Quebec City.”
Vegas? Is this really the best place for an expansion team? Should Ontario test the public’s interest in a 2nd Ontario team in the GTA that so many others have suggested?