Ice, Ice Vegas Baby
Written By: Jordan Ligons NHL Black Knights
The year 2017 marks the 100th birthday of the National Hockey League (NHL). Their birthday present? The first professional hockey team in Las Vegas. NHL Black Knights
On June 22, the league’s board of governors unanimously voted 8-0 to approve Sin City’s first professional sports team and the NHL’s 31st franchise. The “Black Knights” will start play in the 2017-2018 season in the Pacific Division. NHL Black Knights
Principal owner and lifetime hockey fan Bill Foley partnered with Maloofs Sports & Entertainment, a family business powerhouse, to pay the $500 million expansion price tag to bring a team to Las Vegas. Foley’s Canadian roots sprouted love for the sport, and he made it his mission to bring the first-ever team to this city. The Maloofs are notably known for their professional sports ventures with former ownership of the Houston Rockets (NBA) Sacramento Kings (NBA) and the Sacramento Monarchs (WNBA) as well as numerous Las Vegas casinos, entertainment and hotel successes. NHL Black Knights
The Black Knights franchise will hand-select their team during the Expansion Draft, which will happen in June of next year. They will select one player from each team for 30 players total. Each team around the league will have two players on the roster they wish to protect. NHL Black Knights
“This is a team about the community, ” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told ESPN. “It’s about life in Las Vegas—off the strip.” NHL Black Knights
Bettman wants the stadium to be filled with a “family atmosphere” despite the gambling and partying rep that Vegas is associated with. He predicts there will be some tourists, but the majority of the fanbase will be locals.
Clearly, the team will have a notable local following with a jaw-dropping 14, 000 season-tickets already deposited. And all 44 suites in the 17, 500 capacity T-Mobile arena? Sold. NHL Black Knights
Folley is said to be planning a city-wide celebration for September as a ‘thank you’ to the Las Vegas community for banning together and making this possible. NHL Black Knights
Rumors continue to fly that the NFL’s Oakland Raiders will soon become their professional sports neighbor soon. NHL Black Knights
The popular #VegasWantsHockey has transformed to #VegasIsHockey. Go Black Knights!
#VegasIsHockey With ‘Black Knights’ Arriving in Sin City