Las Vegas and Quebec City were the only two cities to submit applications by the deadline in July, despite the league fielding requests from 16 different organizations and individuals in the run-up. Seattle was thought to be in the mix, but the potential ownership group didn’t manage a bid. The NHL didn’t exactly hide its opinion, either.
Phase II involves the transmission of information that includes details on markets in Las Vegas and Quebec City, as well as specifics regarding the respective arenas and so forth. The league will also provide the potential owners with “information…that it deems important to us,” says Bill Foley, the head of the Vegas bid.
The arena in Quebec City is publicly-funded. The Videotron Centre is the replacement for the Colisée Pepsi and carries a price tag of $400 million for the taxpayers, which can become a sticky issue.
Montreal-based communications company Quebecor is heading the expansion bid for the Quebec City team, which suggests the pursuit of a similar corporate model to Bell or Rogers Communications. Because Quebecor is in the broadcasting business as well, owning an NHL team would assist in providing content for their operations.
Foley, meanwhile, is behind the construction of a new arena on the Las Vegas Strip and ponied up for a ticket drive that produced 14,000 deposits.
“We are pleased to report that the NHL has invited us to participate in Phase II of the application process to secure an NHL team in Las Vegas,” said Foley in a statement.
There are no guarantees that NHL hockey will land in Las Vegas or Quebec City and things will be more hammered out if this process moves on to other phases, but the wheels are certainly somewhat in motion.
The two groups were required to submit a $10 million down payment to submit applications.
Prior to eventual review and hopeful approval by the NHL’s Board of Governors, there are three phases to the expansion process. All phases are supposed to conclude by the beginning of September.