Las Vegas Finally Gets Its First Pro Sports Team as NHL Plans Expansion (UPDATE)

The NHL reportedly chose Las Vegas for expansion, which means it’s the first time the city will get a pro sports team.

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UPDATE (6/22/16):

The NHL is officially expanding to Las Vegas:

The NHL has granted an expansion franchise to Las Vegas. The team will begin play in 2017-18.

— NHL (@NHL) June 22, 2016

See original story below.

Are the Oakland Raiders really going to end up playing in Las Vegas sometime in the near future? That’s still TBD. Team owner Mark Davis has talked about doing it, but it’s unclear whether or not the Raiders would actually make the move and, more importantly, whether or not the rest of the league would let them do it.

There is another professional sports team that is likely going to end up in Vegas, though, according to the Associated Press. The AP is reporting that the NHL has decided to expand and has settled on Vegas as the city that will host an expansion team—as long as organizers of that team can come up with a $500 million fee to get into the league. No official decision has been announced by the NHL, and there’s a Board of Governors meeting set for June 22, so it’s unlikely that any official decision will be announced within the next two weeks. But one source who spoke with the AP called the Vegas decision a "done deal" and revealed that the 2017-18 NHL season would be the absolute earliest that the new Vegas team would begin playing. It would be the NHL’s 31st team.

Assuming the league does expand into Vegas, the new team would most likely play at the brand new T-Mobile Arena, which opened earlier this year. The group that is attempting to start the team claims it already has more than 13,000 deposits from people interested in season tickets. Quebec was the other city reportedly considered during expansion talks. Complex has reached out to a rep from the NHL to try and confirm the report. 

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