Could an NHL team make it in Las Vegas?

Rumors have been flying for awhile now that the NHL is looking to add a team based out of Las Vegas. Do you think the team would make it or would it be looking to relocate within a few years? Seems to me like Sin City wouldn't have a strong, local fan base and that most of team's income would be a result of tourists. Might be an interesting experiment, but I'm not sure how long it would last. I'd rather see places like Winnipeg or Hamilton get a team first where there already appears to be a large group of local people ready and waiting for a team (or in Winnipeg's case, waiting for another team). What do you guys think?

23 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Here's the problem....

    Should a new or relocated team be in Vegas? No, it's not a hockey city and there are too many distractions to bring in visitors to a game that few Americans follow.

    Will the next NHL team be relocated in Vegas? They are the most likely city to get the next NHL team. Remember who runs the league. Gary Bettman isn't exactly concerned about growing hockey in Canada. He wants new American markets, even if it kills the game. As long as Bettman is in control, it is impossible to add logic to the NHL's stragedy for placing teams.

    And you are correct, Winnipeg or Hamiliton should be next. Especially with the Canadian dollar becoming stronger then the American dollar (thus they can better compete in the free-agent economy).

  • I realize this is long, but I hope some of your take the time to read it. I have lived in Las Vegas since 1993, moved from Queens NY. First, prostitution is not legal in Clark County, where LV is located. Yes, there are illegal ones, just like every other city. Next, yes, we have gangs, but no different than NY, Chicago, Boston, Philly, LA, Detroit, etc.Those cities have hockey teams, BTW. Those 400-500 arrests from the NBA all-star weekend were those who came in from out-of- town, specifically to cause trouble. The NBA didn't provide any tickets for locals here to purchase, not that I would have anyway. True hockey fans are smarter than that.

    The Arena Football team sucked with an out-of-state owner who didn't give a crap. and the team is moving to Cleveland next season.(What an improvement!)

    As far as an NHL team, I don't think it will happen. We already have an ECHL team, the Wranglers (an affiliate of the Calgary Flames and Quad City Flames of the AHL). It does well, on the ice and financially. It even cares about the kids, by scheduling a 9:30 am game called"School Field Trip Day" and giving away backpacks to the students.The fan base is locals(as opposed to tourists, or F..stupid visitors), so most of the teams income would NOT be from tourists. I rarely venture near the Strip, unless an friend comes in for a visit or to see the Wranglers at The Orleans Arena, which can hold about 7,700 hockey fans. It is a separate world for locals and tourists. The casinos wouldn't mind losing the hockey betting, as they don't derive much from it. Many people who have moved here come from CA, and have brought their hockey interest with them.The annual pre-season game between the Kings and the Rockies is always a sell-out. Part of the problem is the transient nature of the population. 4-5 thousand move here every month, but 2-3 thousand leave, especially since the housing market slump has hit here harder than most. Our hispanic population is growing (not a knock) and most, not all, don't bring much hockey knowledge. Las Vegas is actually part of the Kings territory(not sure about Anaheim), so I guess any team that comes here would have to pay a "territorial rights fee" to the Kings, similiar to what the Islanders had to pay the Rangers back in 1972 (it was 4 million back then).

    Source(s): Isles fan since '74
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No. Think Phoenix (also a bust) but with less people. Most of the people in Vegas are tourists. They can watch their own NHL team without traveling to see a different team. There are tons of other entertainment options that would complete with hockey that they can't see at home too.

    I don't see Winnipeg getting another team either. Its a small city (700k people) and although they did build a new arena its actually smaller (learn something every day) than the old one that was on the small side.

    How about something like Seattle if they get a new arena. Its a large city. The only other team in the area is Vancouver. They would make a good natural rivalry yet be far enough apart and have that pain in the butt border crossing to steal huge numbers of fans.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm skeptical of the success any team in any sport can have in Las Vegas. For one thing, most minor sports leagues don't last in that town. I think they still have a minor league hockey team and perhaps a baseball team, but soccer has failed there and I just learned that the Arena League Gladiators have moved to Cleveland, preceded by the Sting who moved to Anaheim years earlier.

    Most importantly is the fact that none of the 4 major sports has put a team there despite an expansion teams in Columbus and Nashville and relocations to Raleigh, N.C, and Glendale, AZ for the NHL, expansion to Jacksonville and Charlotte for the NFL, relocation to Memphis and New Orleans for the NBA, and the Expos of MLB moved to Washington.

    All those leagues and the teams in question had their reasons for being where they are now, but if Las Vegas is such a prime location I would think that one of the leagues would have a team there by now.

    I don't buy the "stigma of legalized gambling" angle that the NFL and I think the NHL have expressed as why they are reluctant to approve Las Vegas for a franchise. Money is there, but so is some reason why their respective sports aren't.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I still think the new Preds owners have full intentions of moving the team most likely to Vegas. KC is a pipe dream and they will just end up moving out again in a few years when fans fail to materialize if anyone does move a team there. Preds sale could still fail. City has to amend the lease by tomorrow and send it to council or the deal is dead.

    Rumor mill is churning out that Balsillie has now got his vultures circling the near dead Thrashers corpse. There will be a team in Hamilton. It's inevitable!!!!!!!

  • i think why BOB L. wants it there is because he frequents Vegas fairly regularly.. and what great entertainment it would be if you could hit the attractions all day, then see the greatest sport in the world at night.. i understand your thinking bob and kinda simpathise( hope i spelled that right) with this...

    but you also said it bob, casinos would buy up the majority of the tix... then offer them to guests as perks; which is great.. my only arguement with that is if the market is somewhat struggling in the U.S.; except for 6-8 cities; how can you convince people on vacation to come in when many who visit vegas are there for the gambling or shows... and how can you build a fan base with tourists..

    I'm not calling you out BOB L., these are just my views and i totally respect your views... just saying i dont think its a great idea... we will agree to disagree... what would be a good name for them???

    agree with PUCKDAT-- balsille would be the mark cuban of the NHL... and i believe he will eventually get a team..

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I totally agree with you. Last time NHL put teams in the south of the states it was with carolina and it aint working there either. I think the team is gonna have one day fans for the opener and it will die down like in most american cities.(Nashville, Anaheim) But we never know what could happen even though i don't think a team can last in that area. Just like Kansas City that was in the middle of a lot of rumors with pittsburgh and Nashville.

  • Nadia
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    nhl team las vegas

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I actually have no opinion on this....I don't live there, and have only been there to do the touristy stuff (gamble, shop, drink, see Elvis, and the dam).

    I understand Winnipeg wants another team, and I can see why they do. I, for some reason today....just don't really care if they get a team or not.

    Maybe I need some coffee.

  • 1 decade ago

    Absolutely. Who cares if it would be alot of tourists watching the game as compared to a local fan base? Not me.

    Flames Fan- Gambling can be done everywhere-even where you are sitting. There are casinos all over Canada and the U.S. That argument holds no water.

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