Following the end of the 2015-16 NHL season with the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the Stanley Cup, the NHL has big news that will shake up the league as Las Vegas has been selected for league expansion. The Sin City beating out a bid from Quebec City to become the NHL's choice for league expansion.
According to a source from the Associated Press, the NHL has settled on Vegas as their choice to become the league's newest home of professional hockey. The newly build T-Mobile Arena in line to land its first professional sports franchise as Vegas continues to slowly become a staple in the United States' sports market as they continue to bid to bring an NFL franchise to the city in addition to the NHL.
According to the AP, the earliest that the NHL would expand to 31 teams would be the 2017-18 season and that the approval is pending a $500 million expansion fee. Bringing up the question as to if the NHL will attempt to further expand to 32 teams with a second franchise as they did back in 2000 when they introduced the Minnesota Wild and Atlanta Thrashers to push the league to 30 teams.
APNewsBreak: Source says NHL settles on Las Vegas as choice for expansion.
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 14, 2016
With a 20,000 seat arena in the US market in a popular tourist city, Vegas was always going to be the favorite for expansion over Quebec City despite commissioner Gary Bettman's often negative remarks about sports betting in the media. Going with Vegas it is clear that legal gambling wasn't as much of a concern to Bettman as the Canadian dollar and the language barrier in Quebec City. Now hockey fans will await the newest NHL franchise and the opportunity to make plenty of away trips to see their favorite teams play in the Sin City now that Vegas is on the road to become the 31st team in the league.