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Las Vegas wants to build an NHL-ready arena

Jul 15, 2012, 2:32 PM EDT

Las Vegas arena design

While Quebec City is busy building a potential future home for the NHL and Seattle is looking to build a new arena of their own, you can add Las Vegas to the list of places looking to attract a franchise.

The Las Vegas Sun (h/t Kukla’s) reports that the Las Vegas Arena Foundation has proposed a 20,000 seat arena to be built on the Strip in Sin City in hopes of providing a home for either/both the NBA or NHL to move to. The Foundation wants to fund building the arena thanks to a sales tax hike to help pay off the $500 million estimated cost.

The Sun report says the proposed arena would have 94 luxury suites to go along with the 20,000 seats making it an ideal setup for a team to call it their home. Major professional leagues have been wary to pursue Las Vegas, however, thanks to that whole legalized gambling thing in Nevada.

As for the NHL’s interests in Vegas, the annual NHL Awards call the city home as does big time hockey fan Jerry Bruckheimer who has had ownership aspirations in the past. Vegas joins Quebec City, Seattle, Brooklyn, and Kansas City as potential future landing spots for the NHL either via relocation or expansion.

(Design courtesy of LVAF)

  1. sjsharks66 - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    On the strip? So they will market it just to tourists?

    • capesouth - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      exactly..dumb idea. They may get fans but not having a legit, genuinely interested fan base is a bad foundation to build on..nevermind it being in the desert. If the league is going to expand, go to places where people actually care about hockey..have that be the starting point. Canada makes sense obviously. I don’t know much about Washington but Seattle might work, might be a growth market and they have other pro teams. The friggin desert and las vegas makes no sense though. It’s just a ‘sexy’ idea.

  2. ray2013 - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Imagine what kind of home ice advantage they’d have. How many players want to play for the Las Vegas Coyotes?

    Bettman gets to keep the Coyotes in the Sun Belt and save face, and he gets to screw over Quebec City again, and he sticks it Phoenix by moving the team to the next state. How does he not do it?

  3. mrpigs - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    I know that’s one road game I’d attend! Rangers vs Vegas sounds good to me!

  4. danphipps01 - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Someone tell Jagr. He’ll be overjoyed.

  5. creasemasta41 - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    I live in vegas, and building it on the strip doesn’t make sense to me. Very few locals want to drive down to the strip already, add in a nhl/nba team and all the traffic that comes with it, it would take 2 hours to get from the arena off the strip. Move it somewhere close to the strip but far enough that locals can come watch without going through that logjam of traffic on the strip. The wranglers (our ECHL team) had it right putting their arena inside the orleans hotel 5 minutes from the strip, Tourists will still have easy access by bus, and locals will find it easier to make the trip.

    Half the reason the coyotes failed is the arena is in glendale, not centrally located in phoenix, not enough fans came out there to watch and support, im afraid the same thing could happen in vegas because of the time it takes to get around on the strip

    • lordfletcher - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      to say half the reason why the Yotes are failing due to the location of the stadium being in Glendale is laughable. could it have been closer to central PHX, sure, but that’s not half the reason why its a failing franchise.

      90% of the issue is due to the fact it’s hockey in the desert. The same will happen in Vegas except that they will have amazing visiting team sales constantly. Hockey thrives in markets where kids / families play the game. pure and simple

      -Wild fan

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 16, 2012 at 8:10 AM

        Half the reason? It’s amazing how Coyotes apologists refuse to admit that it doesn’t work there! The Coyotes have lost money every year they’ve been down there!

    • Kristenaux - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:36 PM

      I agree. I lived in Vegas for 3 & a half years & we had season tix to the Wranglers games. Loved them & they had a good following but they didn’t always fill the arena at the Orleans, so I don’t see a full fledged NHL sized arena being filled. I’m not sure, unless things change that there’s a large enough hockey fan base in Vegas & c’mon, tourists who go to Vegas *aren’t* going for hockey! The Strip is the very last place it should be built!

  6. dropthepuckeh - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Rick Tocchet could coach and Gretzkys would be appropriate owners….

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Janet is giving 10 to 1 odds this never happens

      • Kristenaux - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:38 PM

        Janet may be right. There has been talk of this happening for over 12 years now…it might be more likely for basketball than hockey but I’m betting neither.

  7. juzzi7 - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    The reason why Patrick Kane will not play 82 games in a season, Chicago can’t take the risk of taking him to Vegas TWICE(or more) in a season…

  8. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    No sports league will ever have a team based in Vegas. They don’t want gambling that close to any franchise. Look at the black mark Pete Rose left on baseball. Unless the NHL gets it in writing from all sports books, in Vegas that the local team is always off the books. Then ask yourself, why would any casino agree to that?

    As for Brooklyn, we already see what a waste of an arena that would be for the NHL. Why would any team move into Barclay Center and not be able to use 1/3 of the arena? Unless they are going to build yet another new arena in the area, that’s not likely to happen.

    Right now, I’d assume Quebec is the front runner to land the Coyotes, assuming they can get a deal done to build a new arena. They can play in the Colisee de Quebec (or whatever it’s called) until the new arena is ready. They move into the division that has Montreal, Florida, Tampa, Ottawa, Buffalo, Boston, and Toronto.

    The Seattle is giving an expansion franchise and takes the spot of Phoenix in the division with Colorado, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

    Kansas City is getting the other franchise with the Sprint Center ready. They go into the division that has Minnesota, Chicago, St. Louis, Winnipeg, Columbus, Detroit, and Dallas.

    Then logic would have Nashville going to the division with Carolina, Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rangers, Islanders, and New Jersey.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 15, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      The Quebec City arena deal is done, they could have shovels in the ground this fall

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 16, 2012 at 2:03 AM

        I guess you’re getting thumbs down for stating a 100% fact. This September they are getting started and will be finished sometime in 2015. The Quebecor Arena costing 400 big ones

  9. lvshark22 - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    If hockey failed in Phoenix, then what makes people think it is going to thrive in Vegas? Even the minor league teams in Vegas usually never sell out. How do you plan on filling a 20,000 seat arena for 41 home games? Also Vegas would have a terrible fan base. With living there, I know that outside of the people who play on the local youth teams, nobody knows about hockey.

  10. mikeincmn - Jul 15, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    I dont see the NHL expanding anytime soon though. The reality is Phoenix is probably going to move, but I just dont see the NHL having enough demand to add even more franchises. It’s far more likely that those markets you mentioned compete for the Yotes and that will come down to if the NHL really wants another Canadian team or if they and can find a prospective owner in one of those other markets that will allow them to go to Seattle or Kansas City.

    Las Vegas aint happening however.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 16, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      There is a small chance it’s part of the new CBA. The owners want this realignment, the players could use it as a chip to guarantee 100 more job (each NHL team can have a max of 50 contracts) and all divisions have equal teams then.

  11. desertfan - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Unfortunately Mr Bettman is right- the NHL needs growth in BIG TV markets to flourish.

    Where people play the game is less important than where a TV audience is.

    Columbus is a surprise loser and Portland/Seattle will work.

    Another GTA makes way more sense than Quebec.

  12. wisbadgers - Jul 15, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    If the team is in Vegas, I don’t think they can post odds or obviously place bets on the Vegas team. A good friend went to UNLV and that’s the way it worked for the Rebels. Not sure if this helps or stops a team in Vegas, but let’s be honest, the gamblers do dictate much in professional sports. Do you think teams really care about the Injury List more than the gamblers do?

  13. gmsalpha - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    I thought the Coyotes were getting lease assistance and the required signatures for a ballot initiative were handed in too late. Why are you guys saying they’re likely to,still move? I think they should, but I thought it was looking like they’ll stick it out another 20 years or so.

  14. cowboyscanada - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    I know that lots of Canadian tourists would go to NHL games in Vegas. Right on the strip might be a little congested, but it would be fun!

  15. pantherpro - Jul 15, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Seattle is best choice. They think soccer is exciting? they would love hockey!

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