NHL Expands to Vegas
Eventually the NHL has to add two teams to the league to get an even 16 in both divisions, while they cut their need in half with the announcement of expansion to Las Vegas. This is huge news for the NHL and the entire sporting world. Las Vegas has been seen by the big four sports organizations as a no no for putting a team there for obvious reasons- gambling, drugs, prostitution, violence, you name it, Vegas got it. But if the NHL franchise going to Vegas is a huge success I would not be entirely surprised to see other leagues follow suit and bring a team to Vegas.
I also believe that this team in Vegas will eventually make sports gambling legal in the United States. Attendance to these games shouldn’t be an issue as opposing fan bases can now make trips to Vegas to follow their team. Season tickets will also be a non-issue as the hotels will purchase a good amount of tickets to give to their clients who spend ungodly amounts of coin in their establishments.
All in all, from a business standpoint this is a move that is smart for the NHL as a whole. But it was not the right move. There were many markets that warrant an NHL franchise over Las Vegas and the biggest one of those markets is Quebec City. Quebec City is a hockey hotbed and have been begging the NHL to bring a team back to Quebec ever since the Nordiques left for Colorado. Like any commissioner, Bettman was thinking about the pockets of his owners instead of what the fans want.