A rather hurried process to gauge potential interest for NHL expansion may have backfired, as the league received only two bids from interested parties in Las Vegas and Quebec City.
In pro sports, there’s always a lot of chatter about potential ownership groups in various cities. And a lot of talk is simply B.S. For instance, there was talk about Milwaukee being a potential NHL home. Milwaukee! That sort of talk is utterly ridiculous. Realistically, there’s a small number of cities where NHL expansion is feasible, and the two cities where there are solid ownership groups and new arenas — Las Vegas and Quebec City — are also where potential owners submitted a $10 million expansion fee, with all but $2 million refundable.
One gets the sense NHL officials know this: when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced his circuit was soliciting expansion bids, he mentioned only Seattle, Las Vegas and Quebec City. And while it’s pretty clear the NHL would love a Seattle bid, none was forthcoming: Chris Hansen is clearly focusing on a return of the NBA, and the door is certainly not closed on buying a team. (Indeed, a new Milwaukee arena as of now is far from a done deal.) Still, with only two bidders and NHL officials saying they’re not going to extend a dead, the league doesn’t have many options. From TSN:
Quebecor Inc. confirmed their bid to bring back the Nordiques with a tweet. Their group, led by president and CEO Pierre Dion, was even in Las Vegas for the announcement and confirmed their interest then – making Monday more of a formality. The 18,259-seat Videotron Centre will host the Penguins and Canadiens in a preseason exhibition on Sept. 28.
The group led by Bill Foley in Las Vegas has already secured 13,500 season-ticket deposits from individual fans – not corporations or casinos. They reportedly filed their bid under the name Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC, which also includes members of the Maloof Family.
Foley said a while back that he’d like his potential franchise to be named the “Black Knights,” a tip of the cap the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., where he attended.