News has just broken that the NHL (national hockey league) has approved an expansion team to move to Las Vegas and become the league’s 31st franchise starting play in 2017-2018. This is huge news for the city that desperately wants a major league sports, and news that could have good and bad effects on the Raiders potential move to the city.
One thing to mention is this is much more complicated than the Raiders potential move. As the Las Vegas team is a new team, and not a current one moving, it completely shakes up the entire league. All teams now go through an ‘expansion draft’ where even players on your roster can be taken off you. Each team must submit a list of exempt players, but everybody else is up for grabs and could easily end up on a new team. Doesn’t sound particularly inviting for the players does it?
This move could be good for the Raiders if the fans really get behind the team and the city goes crazy for the sport. The owner of the new NHL franchise, Bill Foley, has already expressed interest in getting the Raiders to Las Vegas, saying he think they would be great there and not having any worries over clash of fan base. Furthermore, since the team was announced the NHL team has already accepted 14,000 season-ticket deposits and sold out all 44 suites at the rink. This just shows the passion and demand for major league sports teams in Las Vegas, so who’s to say the Raiders wouldn’t be just as popular?
On the other side, if everything goes wrong for this new team then you can almost rule out a move for an NFL franchise, specifically the Raiders. If there are news stories or scandals relating to illegal gambling or players doing other things in Vegas that they shouldn’t be doing, then you will start to see the doubts beginning to emerge. The most important thing to get right is the fans coming to watch the games, and if matches are low on attendance or anything like that the NFL just won’t even consider it.
Either way this looks like a very promising news for the Raiders, and shows some doubters that a move could just happen to a city that wants all the sports it can get its hands on.