Las Vegas and Quebec City NHL expansion bids move to 'Phase III'

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LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 10: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (L) looks on as Fidelity National Financial Inc. Chairman and President of Hockey Vision Las Vegas Bill Foley speaks during a news conference at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino announcing the launch of a season ticket drive on February 10, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/WireImage)

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LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 10: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (L) looks on as Fidelity National Financial Inc. Chairman and President of Hockey Vision Las Vegas Bill Foley speaks during a news conference at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino announcing the launch of a season ticket drive on February 10, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/WireImage)

Both Las Vegas and Quebec City have moved to Phase III of the NHL’s expansion process. 

Quebecor, the group bidding for expansion, announced this on Twitter. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to Puck Daddy that both Quebec City and Las Vegas had indeed move forward to Phase III. 

What does this mean?

“Just the next phase of due diligence and document submission,” Daly told Puck Daddy via email.

Phase II reportedly began on Aug. 5.

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This is what it entailed according to a release by the Vegas group at the beginning of the month. 

In this phase, we will be providing the League with additional information, including information about the Las Vegas market and the MGM AEG Arena being developed between Monte Carlo and New York New York. We will also be permitted access to information provided by the League that it deems important to us.

The NHL received bids on July 20. Absent was Seattle, which was believed to be the league’s favored destination. The league released a strongly-worded statement that it would only move forward with the two submitted bids in QC and Vegas squashing hope that a late bid by Seattle would be accepted. 

According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period. All phases will end Sept. 4.

And then maybe this long slow dance that has included season ticket drives amongst other criteria will officially come to a close, though expansion will not technically start until the 2017-18 season. So we still have a ways to go here, regardless of all these phases.  

The NHL announced its intention to explore expansion with Las Vegas, Quebec City and Seattle at the league's awards in late June. 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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