Las Vegas Gets A Pro Sports Team…In The NHL
Some franchise owners think moving a professional sports team to Las Vegas would be making a deal with the devil. The NHL is rolling the dice.
Sin City, and all its vices, provides countless pitfalls for prospective professional teams, but the NHL decided it’s worth the risk. Hockey is headed to Vegas. Will it work? Place your bets now.
A few thought hell would freeze over before any franchise headed to Vegas, but the hockey gods just decided to lay down the ice themselves. The desert doesn’t exactly make you think of hockey, but to be fair, neither do Tampa Bay and Arizona, and they still have hockey teams.
This could either be a brilliant idea or a horrific disaster for the NHL, and the other pro sports will watch with a microscope to see if the gamble pays off.
Whenever it comes time for the NHL to find a home for a new expansion team, as long as Las Vegas comes up with $500 million, the team belongs to the city. The Oakland Raiders have been flirting with Vegas for a long time, but the NHL sealed their deal, and possibly their fate.
Las Vegas is the largest American metropolitan not to have a professional sports teams, but for obvious reasons.
Can you imagine the possibilities? All of a sudden, a LOT more money could start funneling into gambling on hockey. Players, coaches and officials would be around dangerous entities all the time, but the same could be said for any large city with a support system for crime and a grimy underbelly. Hockey lets the players fight, and its fan base is a little rougher around the edges than your average sports fan. Will hockey be able to handle the temptation, or will it pluck the wrong apple and get forced out of a possible financial Garden of Eden.
The NHL isn’t going to move in immediately though. The league hasn’t expanded since 2000, but the gears are in motion. Whenever the news comes down, Vegas gets its team.
Of course, the Raiders, and possibly the MLS, could beat hockey to the punch if they iron out their deals with Las Vegas sooner rather than later. For now, hockey is going to be the only gig in a town where the lights never stop shining.