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Las Vegas Makes Case For Bringing NHL To Town

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Las Vegas made its case to bring the NHL to town.

Las Vegas hockey fans now have an earnest wait ahead of them, as the man behind the push to bring an National Hockey League team to the valley has made his case in front of the league's governing body. 

Businessman Bill Foley was in New York this week, making a formal presentation to the Board of Governors.

He touted the things Las Vegas would have to offer a professional team: A newly completed arena, a flourishing population of locals and tourists alike, and as many as 14,000 season tickets already sold.

Longtime sports writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal Steve Carp told KNPR's State of Nevada that the city has lot going for it. 

"We've got a vibrant community with a rebounding economy with a brand-new, state-of-the-art arena and a fan base that is energized and ready to support the NHL." he said.

Carp also said Foley is willing to spend big bucks to bring the team here.

"First of all, he's going to be willing to write a check for $500 million that the owners get to keep and don't have to share with the players," he said.

But Las Vegas isn't alone in its lobbying bid for the NHL to expand - Quebec City is also in the running.

While Quebec City would seem an obvious choice, it is in the heart of a country where hockey is a full-time passion for most, Carp pointed out that city has its own set of problems, namely the Canadian economy, which has been slipping over the past year.

Support comes from

The NHL has not expanded since 2000, and currently sits at 31 teams.

According to Carp, the governoring board could decide to expand to both Las Vegas and Quebec City, or just to one of those cities, or not at all. 

The question a lot skeptics have about bringing a sports team to Las Vegas is whether it will actually succeed.

The history of the city is littered with franchises that didn't succeed for various reasons, from the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL that only lasted one season to the The Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL that folded after 11 years when it lost a place to play.

Carp agreed that it is a legitimate question to ask but he says the city should be given a shot.

"I would say that it deserves the chance to prove that it can and I think it does have the chance to succeed," he said. 

The board is expected to make a decision when it meets in Palm Springs again in early December. 

Guests

Steve Carp, sports writer, Las Vegas Review-Journal 

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