Las Vegas has built a reputation for attracting between 35 million to 42 million visitors to a five-mile Strip of hotels and casinos in the middle of the desert.
They come for the shows, restaurants, gambling and other attractions. But, will they come to attend fights or other events at the MGM Arena?
What about prospective Las Vegas owner Bill Foley’s efforts to bring an NHL franchise to the arena on the Strip between the Monte Carlo and New York, New York casinos.
Los Angeles Times sports columnist Helene Elliott recently spent a hot afternoon in Las Vegas watching workers pouring concrete to for the event floor. Elliott told KNPR’s State of Nevada she was “very impressed” with the $375 million arena.
“I think they have the fans in mind in a lot of ways,” Elliott told KNPR on the phone from the Anaheim Ducks pre-season camp in Southern California.
“The sight lines were excellent. There are going to be a lot of amenities not only for the people who are buying the expensive tickets, but also for people who are buying the lower price tickets,” she said. “There are great views of the Strip … that I thought were very impressive.”
But on whether Foley and his team could sell hockey in Las Vegas, Elliott was more cautious.
“The novelty value will certainly be very strong at first,” Elliott told KNPR. “Just the fact that it’s there. That it’s a major league franchise … that will carry a lot of appeal for a lot of people.”
How will an NHL franchise perform in the long-term here? Elliott said she didn’t know, “but for the first few seasons the novelty value will carry it.”
If you want to read Helene Elliott’s column on her tour of the MGM Area, just click on the link - Las Vegas arena and city's NHL bid are rolling along.
Helene Elliott, sports columnist, Los Angeles Times
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