Vegas Becomes the New Hockey Town USA
Photo courtesy of MGM Hotels & Resorts Twitter feed
What happens in Vegas could soon happen on ice.
The National Hockey League’s 31st team will take the ice at T-Mobile Arena located just west of the famed Las Vegas Strip, starting in the 2017-18 season.
This Wednesday, the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors approved plans to send an expansion franchise to Las Vegas. The contract was awarded to Black Knights Sports & Entertainment, LLC, owned by Bill Foley.
“This is a great day for the people of Las Vegas and it is extremely exciting to deliver the city’s first major league sports team,” said Foley. “This historic news would not have been possible without the overwhelming support of the Las Vegas community, our season ticket holders and public officials at the state and local levels.”
The quest for hockey in Las Vegas started in 2015, when the Foley and Maloof families first spearheaded the efforts. In February 2015, Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, LLC launched a ticket drive to assess the interest of Las Vegas NHL fans.
The goal was to secure deposits for 10,000 season tickets. But the sales drive netted paid deposits and commitments of more than 14,000 season tickets. Additionally, the arena’s luxury suites, its lower level center ice club and its upper bowl area all sold out during the initial drive.
The group also created a comprehensive marketing program to help create excitement for an NHL team with area residents.
“Without a doubt, the fan response to the season ticket drive was the most powerful factor in our ability to make this vision a reality,” said Foley. “As I’ve said many times over the past year, Las Vegas is a hockey town and I am proud to be a part of the team that is helping to bring hockey to Las Vegas. We are very grateful for the tireless efforts of so many, and thrilled with the tremendous support from Las Vegas area NHL fans.”
So what will the team be called? The Vegas Diamonds? The Vegas Blackjacks? No word on that yet, but the Foley family says they will unveil a team name, logo, colors and uniforms in early fall.
Fans should feel free to tweet suggestions to the new hashtag, #VegasIsHockey.
For more information, visit www.VegasIsHockey.com.
More by Monica Poling
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