NHL reportedly expanding into Las Vegas

AP

Advantage Raiders.

The stigma regarding major professional sports leagues doing business in Las Vegas has taken a major blow, thanks to multiple reports that the NHL has decided to place an expansion team in Sin City.

With hockey crossing the baccarat bridge, it becomes easier for the NFL to do the same thing, with the Raiders.

Momentum has been building steadily and significantly over the past few months for a move of the Raiders to Nevada. Only three years ago, the NFL refused to consider the possibility of playing a preseason game in Las Vegas. Just last summer, the league killed a fantasy football convention planned in part by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo because the event was scheduled to be held on property owned by a casino — but not a casino.

But with free money getting more and more scarce when it comes to building football stadiums, the slot machine in Vegas could soon be spewing coins into the already-crowded coffers of the NFL.

33 responses to “NHL reportedly expanding into Las Vegas

  1. This will be interesting to watch. Warm weather markets aren’t the greatest for hockey. Atlanta folded. Arizona is not doing terribly well, nor are Carolina and Florida.

    The point of comparison to the NFL should be the market size, which frankly isn’t too big. I believe something like the 5th smallest in the country compared to other locales.

  2. NHL crashed and burned twice in the late 90’s do to over expansion. Guess they didn’t learn. Still a bunch of horrible franchises and play in the league.

  3. Don’t think this really moves the needle. The NHL has consistently sought secondary markets, they have franchises in Columbus, Ottowa, Nashville, and Winnipeg, among other very small media markets.

    The NFL is built far more on TV than the NHL is and Vegas is the 40th media market along with 80th median income, which means it is a low value advertising market.

    Compared to the Bay Area market which is 6th in size and 1st in median income, which means a very high value advertising market, and even next door Sacramento (75 minute drive, part of the Raiders current home media market territory) is 20th in media size and 4oth in median income, Vegas is a tiny media market by comparison.

    Basically, the Raiders seem to be hoping that Nevada backs up a huge public money truck for a stadium and that a massive public subsidy would be enough to convince the NFL to give them the thumbs up. The gambling thing is a side issue and really only critical to maintain policing of the integrity of the game, as the largest bookmakers are in Vegas (you can gamble everywhere, but there are only so many places with huge sports book making).

    Basically, the NHL moving to Vegas is pretty much negligible on whether it would move the NFL towards that market.

  4. No way. They will cause a brown out every game as they try to keep the ice frozen when its a 115 freaking degrees everyday

  5. You know, they play indoors.

    No way. They will cause a brown out every game as they try to keep the ice frozen when its a 115 freaking degrees everyday

  6. riflemanlax says:
    Jun 14, 2016 1:36 PM

    This will be interesting to watch. Warm weather markets aren’t the greatest for hockey. Atlanta folded. Arizona is not doing terribly well, nor are Carolina and Florida.

    ———————————————————-

    I agree with you here. Except for San Jose (2016 Finals, 2011 Semi-Finals, 2010 Semi-Finals). And Tampa Bay (2016 Semi-Finals, 2015 Finals). And Anaheim (2015 Semi-Finals). Let’s not forget Los Angeles (2014 Champions, 2013 Semi-Finals, 2012 Champions). The afore-mentioned Arizona (2012 Semi-Finals *spit*).

    Huh. I guess teams from warm weather markets can do fine in the NHL.

  7. chicagobtech says:
    Jun 14, 2016 2:10 PM

    riflemanlax says:
    Jun 14, 2016 1:36 PM

    This will be interesting to watch. Warm weather markets aren’t the greatest for hockey. Atlanta folded. Arizona is not doing terribly well, nor are Carolina and Florida.

    ———————————————————-

    I agree with you here. Except for San Jose (2016 Finals, 2011 Semi-Finals, 2010 Semi-Finals). And Tampa Bay (2016 Semi-Finals, 2015 Finals). And Anaheim (2015 Semi-Finals). Let’s not forget Los Angeles (2014 Champions, 2013 Semi-Finals, 2012 Champions). The afore-mentioned Arizona (2012 Semi-Finals *spit*).

    Huh. I guess teams from warm weather markets can do fine in the NHL
    ———————————————
    They can and do succeed in these cities because they are sports cities. Like Los Angeles. Yes, Los Angeles, where plenty of you think it can’t even support a professional football team. So wrong. Los Angeles has had World Champions in Baseball, Football, Hockey, Basketball…
    The NHL may find out how much of a sports town Las Vegas really is. Talk about a gamble.

  8. They’re going to have to put a moratorium on gambling puns for the commentators.

    (Not because they wouldn’t be funny for the first 10 minutes, but because they’d go on for infinitely longer.)

  9. There’s a lot of positive talk about the NHL in Las Vegas. But it’s the NFL that will virtually print money if they move there. The Raiders should get a lock on it as soon as possible.

  10. As far as the NFL goes, if they are counting on tourists to fill the stadium ….

    1) Sunday is a slow day in Vegas. Lots of tourists leaving and not many arriving. That is why room rates are so low.

    2) I guess a domed stadium is a must. People go to Vegas to gamble. Not sit out in the hot sun for the 5 or more hours it takes to go to a game, watch it, and get back to the casino. If anything they will go to the pool for a couple of hours during the day and maybe a show for a couple of hours at night. Not a 5 hour marathon away from the casino.

    3) Honest to God if I was staying in Vegas on a Sunday and a casino offered me comp tickets to an NFL game there I would turn them down. And these tickets won’t be comped. This is the argument against having an NFL team in Los Angeles, There is so much to do in Las Vegas that going to an NFL game is pretty far down the list.

  11. There is so much to do in Las Vegas that going to an NFL game is pretty far down the list.
    *******************************
    One of the same problems the Chargers have in San Diego ironically enough.

  12. If the NFL goes to Vegas your going to have more fixed games down the road instead of just the good ol Kraft fixed games…..and juries.

  13. chicagobtech says:
    Jun 14, 2016 2:10 PM
    I agree with you here. Except for San Jose (2016 Finals, 2011 Semi-Finals, 2010 Semi-Finals). And Tampa Bay (2016 Semi-Finals, 2015 Finals). And Anaheim (2015 Semi-Finals). Let’s not forget Los Angeles (2014 Champions, 2013 Semi-Finals, 2012 Champions). The afore-mentioned Arizona (2012 Semi-Finals *spit*).

    Huh. I guess teams from warm weather markets can do fine in the NHL.
    ________________________________________

    Anaheim can’t even sell out playoff games as the best team in its conference (3 years in a row they couldn’t). Arizona needs massive tax payer funding to put 7,500 a night in their arena. And let’s not forget Florida being a trainwreck and Carolina likely to be moving. The warm weather teams have been hit or miss.

    Unless the Vegas team is loaded with a top level team, it’ll be a mediocre market at best and a trainwreck at worst. But the owners don’t care, they want the expansion fee they don’t have to share with the players.

  14. riflemanlax says:
    Jun 14, 2016 1:36 PM
    This will be interesting to watch. Warm weather markets aren’t the greatest for hockey. Atlanta folded. Arizona is not doing terribly well, nor are Carolina and Florida.

    The point of comparison to the NFL should be the market size, which frankly isn’t too big. I believe something like the 5th smallest in the country compared to other locales.
    ————

    Pittsburgh was not doing financially well for years before the 2005 Draft and that was ri…

    Never mind.

    Same with these playoffs, and the supposed impending sale of the team (increased value with a *championship now). Has nothing to do with locale. Ducks, Kings, Dallas, Tampa all flourish because they’ve drafted well and signed the right free agents.

    Considering that this team will be comprised of exposed players from each team, they won’t necessarily be starting off 10 steps behind like old school expansion teams.

  15. boiler72 says:
    Jun 14, 2016 2:29 PM
    This is BS. Quebec City should have been first on the list. Bring back the Nordiques!
    ————-

    If the Hurricanes weren’t in such a cushy situation with the group that runs the facilities in Raleigh — a deal they would be fools to break — I would suggest that they would be relocated in a few years, but I don’t see that happening. Problem is, the league is already out of balance. This makes it 31 teams, 16 in the east. A team back in Quebec City (I agree, they deserve to have their team back) would make it 17-15 and more scheduling issues. I feel like if they expand again before 2030, it will be a team out west, but who knows.

  16. This will be interesting to watch. Warm weather markets aren’t the greatest for hockey.
    —–
    San Jose was in Stanley cup finals and Tampa Bay was in Eastern conference finals.

  17. Wouldnt it make sense to put a hockey team in a place where…you know…they actually care about hockey?

  18. Brilliant move by the NHL, dumb move by NFL and NBA for waiting so long. I’ve always felt that regardless of the sport, first one to move there will capture the hearts and minds. NHL and NBA would have thrived there…NFL would have to work at it due to the normal ebb and flow of Vegas life and football being a once a week deal. Tourists can go to NHL or NBA games during the week though, basically an alternative to a Vegas show. Raiders would not be wise to move now. But then the Raiders have struggled to maintain a fan base everywhere they’ve been, hence they keep moving.

  19. @cuttyplease “The NHL has consistently sought secondary markets, they have franchises in Columbus, Ottowa, Nashville, and Winnipeg, among other very small media markets.”

    ——————-

    I don’t know much about the other cities you listed, but Nashville is underrated. The Predators have a passionate fan base and the city itself is growing quickly. In fact, the latest Super Bowl was watched by more people in the Nashville market than in any other city, including Denver and Carolina’s markets. So there is definitely sports interest. …So I wouldn’t call it a “very small media market.”

  20. cornerstone2001 says:
    Jun 14, 2016 1:41 PM

    No way. They will cause a brown out every game as they try to keep the ice frozen when its a 115 freaking degrees everyday

    Fact #1- they play indoors (Duh!)

    Fact #2-the hockey season runs first week of Oct to first week of April. Average high in Las Vegas in Oct-82 degrees. Average high in April-77 degrees. And of course all months in between are cooler.

    Try harder next time!

  21. Wow, NHL just one up’d every other sport. Vegas is packed 7 days a week with tourists and conference folks. They’ll fill that arena.

  22. NHL should be doing everything they can to get into the Seattle/Portland market. You move 2 teams to those 2 cities, just like how successful soccer is, you instantly have money making franchises and big rivalry.

  23. learysdisciples says:
    Jun 14, 2016 2:08 PM
    You know, they play indoors.

    No way. They will cause a brown out every game as they try to keep the ice frozen when its a 115 freaking degrees everyday

    21 5
    Missed the point there ….

    Brown outs are caused by too much electricity consumption. You dont have to be outdoors…

    Geez

  24. jackedupboonie says:
    Jun 14, 2016 3:45 PM
    NHL should be doing everything they can to get into the Seattle/Portland market. You move 2 teams to those 2 cities, just like how successful soccer is, you instantly have money making franchises and big rivalry.
    ————

    Been thinking this for years, and agree. Houston, as well. But definitely PNW.

  25. One thing Vegas possesses that very few cities do, is national and global appeal for tourism. The cheapest way without moving a franchise to advertise to foreign markets is Vegas. Vegas advertises in other countries. People know about Las Vegas in other countries. They probably don’t know about Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa, Etc. Day after day there is a constant influx of people coming into Vegas. I live here and I am originally from NY. Every dirt patch is being built on with houses, apartments, or casinos. Its a very cheap please to live with means more expendable income. So when you look at incomes, factor in cost of living. For example, a 1855 ST ft home, brand new on the west side of Vegas costs roughly 250K. Thats a very nice area. Same house in NY, California, FLorida, in a comparable area is aorund 700k. Its all relative. Bring football to Vegas you will see support and ticket sales. Fans from Chicago, Green Bay, Cleveland would come to vegas for a weekend in which their team plays in Vegas to see their team and take a vacation. Thats the allure

  26. Genius move by the NHL. I don’t think the NFL would have similar success. Lots of good points mentioned above, but one thing that hasn’t: that arena is being built near the south end of the strip, and can be easily accessed by foot traffic.

    The NHL has succeeded in many mid-level “big” cities: Nashville, San Jose, Tampa, Columbus, etc. Florida had a resurgence this past year thanks to ownership that actually decided to invest in the team.

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