For years, the people of Las Vegas have been working to create a monumental movement and gain attention to bring an NHL franchise to town. If recent events in the city are any indication, it may not be a matter of if, but when, the NHL will be calling Vegas home.
Bill Foley is the man behind a company called Hockey Vision Las Vegas, LLC. He started the website www.VegasWantsHockey.com as a way to show city legislature that there is a demand for the winter sport in an town that is known for typically hot weather conditions. For some cities, such as Tampa and Atlanta, having an NHL team has been a financial drain on the economy. If a team was to come to Vegas, they’d look to avoid the same dismal fate that led to the disbanding of franchise’s in the past.
The goal of VegasWantsHockey.com is to reach at least 10,000 season ticket deposits as a way to show demand for hockey in Vegas. Foley has set up the website, as well as hired staff to take phone calls and email inquiries. His ticket and sales staff has been trained specifically to help answers of those who have questions about season tickets for a Las Vegas NHL team.
Since the response has been positive, what seems to be the next step would be for the city to come up with the perfect team name for their new franchise. Foley has put the name, “Black Nights” into content, though he prefers Nevada Black Nights instead of anything specific to Las Vegas. However, whether or not that name will become a set decision will likely depend on other owners that get involved in the potential investment idea of hockey in Vegas.
Some potential partners that have shown interest with Foley has been the Maloof brothers. The Maloof family is well-known in the sports industry, including the previous control that they had over the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. The Maloofs are no stranger to Vegas and sports, which is why they seem like the ideal partner for Foley to consider.
The NHL recently had it’s annual All-Star game, during which time NHL commissioner Gary Bettman took the time to address the idea of a franchise in Vegas. His initial comments suggested that the potential of the idea would greatly depend on the interest in the market. He went on to say that if there were seats left in October, it likely wouldn’t be a good idea. However, if tickets were to sell out in just a few weeks, even further evaluation will be given into the idea.
With Hockey Vision Las Vegas, the NHL might be so far from calling Vegas home. But that is going to take the Vegas community to get involved if they want to bring a hockey franchise to town. If everything goes to plan as how Foley and the Maloof brothers expect, the Vegas could be bringing the fastest show on ice to town before you know it.
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