SBD/March 19, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Report: Bettman Meets With Prospective Ownership Group For Las Vegas NHL Franchise

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently met with "one of two prospective ownership groups interested in putting a team in Las Vegas," according to a source cited by David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. The source also said that Bettman "plans to meet shortly with a group interested in a Seattle franchise." Bettman yesterday in an e-mail wrote, "At this point, there is no ‘structure’ to any of this. We just continue to listen to unsolicited expressions of interest (which have come from a number of parties) and sometimes those expressions of interest come in meetings that the interested parties have requested! To suggest a timetable or anything else at this point is pure speculation." A priority for Bettman is "eliminating the imbalance between the Eastern Conference, which has 16 teams, and the Western Conference, which has 14." At present, Seattle "seems to be the darling of many NHL governors (even though its arena plans are tilted more to the NBA)." But several governors "think they can strike it rich by being the first of the four major North American professional sports leagues to grab the Las Vegas market" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/19).
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