The NHL is reportedly set to announce that Las Vegas will be added as an expansion team according to Greg Beacham of the Associated Press. It’s expected that the decision will be made official following the NHL’s Board of Governors Meeting on June 22nd.
Las Vegas has long been thought of as a likely expansion candidate. Prospective owner Bill Foley spearheaded a season ticket deposit campaign last year, collecting over 13,200 deposits in advance of submitted their expansion application in July.
Also aiding in their application was the recent completion of the T-Mobile Arena, a $350MM facility completed earlier this year. Las Vegas is also the largest US market without a major professional sports franchise and it is believed that the NHL was intrigued by the idea of being the first league in that market.
The expected expansion fee is believed to be $500MM and the earliest a team would start would be the 2017-18 campaign. More information on that will likely be available following the Board of Governors meeting next week.
Information has already leaked about the rules for the expansion draft. Our Gavin Lee broke down the eligibility rules last weekend.
Quebec, the other prospective franchise that participated in the expansion application process, is not expected to be awarded a franchise at this time. However, as they have an NHL-ready arena in the Videotron Centre, they will certainly come up in terms of future expansion or relocation discussion.