NEW YORK – Representatives from Las Vegas and Quebec City made their expansion pitches to the NHL’s executive committee, ahead of Tuesday’s Board of Governors meeting in New York.
Quebecor, the media giant trying to bring the NHL back to the former home of the Nordiques, brought two interesting things with them to the meeting: Video from last night’s exhibition game at the Videotron Centre between the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins; as well as former Canadian prime minster Brian Mulroney, a Quebecor VP who has been part of the effort to bring the NHL back to Quebec for years.
Both bids faced scrutiny. The Canadian dollar’s status as changed dramatically since expansion talk began. Mulroney said after the meeting that "even with the exchange rate of [the Canadian dollar], we can handle the team."
The Vegas bid has been scrutinized for the strength of its fan base as a hockey market.
"We were asked a lot of questions, we had answers for all of them," said Bill Foley, the money man behind the Vegas expansion charge. "It was a complete presentation: Arena, background, ticket drive, team economics. We feel it went well. We're happy, it couldn't have gone any better."
Said Foley in a statement:
"Today, we made a formal presentation to the NHL Executive Committee in New York City as part of our effort to secure an NHL team in Las Vegas. This meeting was the result of successfully completing three previous phases of the expansion application process. We made it to this point because of the passionate fans that helped us secure more than 13,500 season ticket deposits and commitments. As we wait for a final decision, I want to thank the NHL for this opportunity and the season ticket holders who have clearly demonstrated that Vegas Wants Hockey!"
The NHL’s Board of Governors will have further comment on the presentations after their afternoon meeting.
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