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MGM, AEG to build 20,000-seat arena in Vegas

Jun 18, 2013, 3:18 PM EDT

Las Vegas Getty Images

By no means are we saying it’s likely to happen, but the odds of an NHL team one day calling Las Vegas home have to be better after today’s announcement that AEG and MGM Resorts International have teamed up to build a 20,000-seat arena on the Vegas Strip.

From the release:

The arena is expected to break ground in summer 2014, with the grand opening projected for spring 2016.  The project is anticipated to cost approximately $350 million and be financed with equity contributions from each of the partners as well as privately funded third-party financing.

AEG, of course, owns half of the Los Angeles Kings. It also manages the Sprint Center in Kansas City, which has, in the past, been touted as a possible home for a relocation or expansion NHL franchise.

Granted, a Vegas arena probably wouldn’t need a full-time sports tenant, be it hockey or basketball, to make money. (We’ve heard they have the odd concert and convention in that town.)

But until this point, speculation of an NHL team moving to Vegas has been limited as there was no suitable arena, or a plan to build one.

“Some league will be here,” commissioner Gary Bettman said back in 2009. “Somebody’s going to be first, but the stadium/arena issues, I think until they resolve, will preclude any serious consideration.”

Related: Maloofs reportedly met with Bettman about buying an NHL team

  1. lallin66fan - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Haven’t people learned that playing hockey in the desert is a bad thing yet?

    • letsgolightning - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      I think much like Tampa Bay and Florida, the team would end up being very much (financially) supported by out-of-town fans of the opposing teams. In Florida, it’s snowbirds who come for the warm winter weather and beaches. That is to say, Florida already has its own draw and people seeing their own teams play here adds something extra.

      Heck, I already visit Vegas every so often; I’d be much more inclined to make it a yearly trip if i could catch a Bolts game when I go.

      Now lets say I’m a Rangers fan living in the southwest. I’m much more likely to travel to Vegas to watch them play than I am to Phoenix. Hockey+sand+Vegas has significantly more draw than just Hockey+sand.

      The arena still being 3 years out makes this all moot since we don’t know what teams will have ownership issues at that time (that might force a move), but I would love to see the NHL as the first league with a presence there.

      • ibieiniid - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        yeah but AZ is the FL of the west basically. snowbirds aren’t holding the ‘yotes above water, I doubt they would in Vegas either. just seems dumb when there’s plenty of other cities that’d make better use of a team.

      • adambballn - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        The difference between the Yotes and the Vegas strip is the location of the stadium. The Yotes are in Glendale, which is way outside of Phoenix, the last time I went to a Hawks v Coyotes game I spent $60 each way for a cab from the airport to Glendale and once you’re in Glendale there is absolutely nothing there unless you catch a game during baseball spring training. If the Coyotes played closer to Scottsdale I wouldn’t mind popping out there for a long weekend and catching a game.

  2. dropthepuckeh - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Gretzky can be the owner, Tochett can coach and Jagr can be the first captain. Maybe bring Donahue from the NBA can ref home games. Nothing to see here…..

    • dumbassgreg - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      lmao. one of the funniest things i have read lately. maybe call the team the janets or jones.

    • 950003cups - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      I hear Pete Rose will be the GM

    • badintent - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      And mommy Janet can set the under /over for her little betting pool………………..

  3. detroitcityy - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    A team in Vegas would be my second favorite team..

    • imleftcoast - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      Much like a wife in Vegas.

  4. joelwrobinson - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    I’d hate to play on that ice.

    • Anoesis - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:38 PM

      They got this here newfangled thing called “air conditioning.” It actually keeps the building just as cool and dry as though you were in, say, Boston or Chicago.
      As though the ice in the recent game in TD Garden was any better.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:54 AM

        Spoken like a true non-hockey player

  5. Windmiller4 - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    I feel like Vegas could have potential to support an NHL team, it would be the first big pro sport team there, which would help them gain fans that would otherwise be going to basketball or baseball games if it were a different city. Plus having it on the strip would help tremendously for getting out of town fans into a game.

  6. leiterfelixleiter - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Every single team that came to Vegas to play would bring hundreds, if not thousands, of fans with them. They would be wise to dedicate a section or two in the upper deck for visiting fans and that would create a very fun atmosphere. With nearly $2 million full-time residents in the area Vegas has more than enough people to support an NHL team. If the Coyotes move out of Glendale this would be a great place for them to land (they could play at the Orleans Arena while they waited for the new building to be made) as it would keep them in the same division, keep an NHL presence in the Southwest and would move them to an area that is ready for professional sports.

  7. Anoesis - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    I’d bet on the NBA putting a team there first and the NHL following suit. Seattle built a new arena for an NBA team with the hope of a hockey team being a second tenant.

    • desertfan - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:03 AM

      Seattle built a new arena???

      Driving around all night trying to find it.

      Please share location with me.

      • Anoesis - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Oops. Seattle is building a new arena. City and county councils have given approval, awaiting environmental review. Hansen’s investment team has even released new artist renderings of what the new place will look like. Sorry you wasted all that gas.

  8. DED - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Isn’t a NHL team in Vegas the much rumored Bettman wet dream?

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