These Two Cities Just Filed Bids For NHL Expansion Franchises
On Monday evening, two prospective ownership groups took the first step towards garnering an NHL expansion franchise for their respective cities by placing a $10 million bid deposit, of which $2 million is non-refundable…so you know these guys are serious about bringing hockey to their towns.
Money came in from hopeful ownership groups from Quebec City and Las Vegas; both cities already have NHL-scale arenas in the works: Quebec City’s Videotron Centre will open this September and the new Las Vegas Arena will be finished in early 2016.
Despite rumored interest of franchise expansion bids from other cities – including another team in in the Toronto area, Portland, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Seattle – none were filed by the Monday night deadline. It’s speculated that the offsetting non-refundable $2 million was a little too deep for the aforementioned cities, whose hockey expansion plans at the moment are far less concrete than Quebec City and Las Vegas, given the NHL has said it will only be granting two new franchises. You really can’t blame the other cities for not filing a bid at the last minute, as it’s pretty hard to imagine watching $2 million go up in flames knowing you’re competing with other locations that already have facilities in the works.
So, it sounds like we’re going to see NHL hockey return to Quebec for the first time since 1995, and reports indicate the team is set to resume the namesake that left town for Colorado as the Quebec Nordiques.
And then there’s Vegas. Ohhhh Vegas. What could go wrong with putting a hockey team in the city of sin and degenerate gambling…and hookers galore…and blow!? Because we all know hockey players hate that kind of stuff. Not to say all of the above can’t be found where other teams currently play their puck, but we all know those vices are pretty damn accessible in Las Vegas. But seriously, a Hard Knocks season on HBO chronicling the team’s inaugural year would definitely be something to see.
There hasn’t been any hard indication given to the name of the Vegas team should their NHL expansion bid be successful, but the early house favorites are on the “Aces,” “Blackjacks,” and “Strippers.” Just kidding about that last one…kind of. ESPN’s Scott Burnside also reports that the Vegas filing – which has preemptively sold upwards of 13,000 season ticket packages – was done so under Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC, so “Black Knights” would be a plausible play too.
We’ll keep you posted on any happenings here as they develop, or if the Florida Panthers or Phoenix Coyotes are relocated, as is widely speculated given both franchise’s pitiful attendance records.