(Editor's note: This interview originally aired January 2015)
There’s no arguing Bill Foley is a successful businessman.
He is chairman of Fidelity National Financial and owner of more than a dozen wineries, and a working cattle ranch and golf course community in Montana.
But now, Foley is looking to add a National Hockey League team in Las Vegas to his portfolio. He spent several days in Las Vegas meeting with local leaders hoping to drum up some season ticket commitments.
The catch is he and his partners still need to convince the NHL that a desert community with just more than two million people can support the franchise, especially given the Las Vegas valley’s track record for supporting sports teams.
The city’s history is littered with failed franchise efforts like the Canadian Football League’s Las Vegas Posse, the XFL’s Las Vegas Outlaws and the United Football League’s Las Vegas Locomotives.
However, supporters of bringing a franchise to the valley point out that none of those teams are part of a major sports league with the kind of money and fan support the NHL already has.
So, will the NHL approve a team to play in the gambling capital of the world? Or, will NHL commission Gary Bettman decide Quebec City or Seattle is a better bet for his league?