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Jason Harris

NHL about ready to move to Vegas?

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The positive is that it will draw tons of out-of-town fans and regional rivalries can easily develop. Plus, what city knows better how to put on a show. We've seen how the Predators have really taken hold of Nashville. It could be possible that Vegas can do the same. If the local celebrities/residency folks buy in then it could take off.

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That's possible, but I read something that Jim Fassel relayed about his time coaching the Las Vegas Locomotives in the UFL. He said the team gave prime tickets for the casinos to comp their high rollers, but the casinos told them to get stuffed, because they didn't want their best customers leaving the building.

 

So, at least initially, whatever team ends up there probably won't have much corporate help.

Edited by Jason Harris

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I think there may be a little bit of a difference between a 4 team minor league football league and the NHL. 

 

The team that will end up there will be new, it is expansion, not an existing franchise moving to LV.

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6 hours ago, chippa13 said:

The positive is that it will draw tons of out-of-town fans and regional rivalries can easily develop. Plus, what city knows better how to put on a show. We've seen how the Predators have really taken hold of Nashville. It could be possible that Vegas can do the same. If the local celebrities/residency folks buy in then it could take off.


Yeah and other team's fans can get belligerently drunk and get arrested in Vegas if their team loses. Nashville took a very long time to get a strong fanbase. Columbus was the laughing stock of the NHL, and Florida is just now coming out of their depression.

It's honestly a terrible idea. The NHL doesn't understand the "13,000" season ticket preorders are companies that are going to sell the seats or give it to their clients. IMO the reason you see empty seats in "competitive" NHL arenas is (usually) because some company owns them and hasn't sold them. Of course there are exceptions, like teams that were already experiencing poor ticket sales. The team should do very well in ticket sales the first year but as we see with many expansion teams, they usually end up at the bottom of the standings. Ticket sales could start to fall after the nostalgia wears off. People like what's new, and while there may be a high demand for hockey NOW it doesn't mean there is a long term demand. It'll be interesting to see that in case Vegas does start to underwhelm, will these fans continue showing up or will they start following other teams in the division (LA, San Jose, Arizona). 






 

Edited by Bbd94
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The long-term viability of any expansion team depends on how the team performs on the ice. With the exception of the blind devotion of Leafs fans, no teams sells well when they're too long in the cellar. Heck, it wasn't that long ago when the Bruins hosted the Ducks on Halloween in front of an announced attendance of just over 9,000. How many times have the Penguins had to have been saved? Check the Red Wings numbers before Yzerman led them out of the basement.

 

Columbus has scraped into the playoffs only twice in their 15 seasons, finished 9th once, 11th once and the rest between 13th and 15th in the conference. Show me the fans who are going to stick around for that.

 

I say give Vegas a chance. If there is one thing they know how to do it is put on a spectacle.

 

 

 

 

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I have lived in Vegas my entire life so I think I know the city pretty well.

 

Reason It Won't Make It:

If they don't put together a winning program in the first 5 years I think people will become disenfranchised, kind of like the L.A. market (no offense), if you’re not winning we'll support a team that is. This town is unlike any other. We have a high rate of transient people who are already fans of other teams. If they remain living in LV it's going to take winning and time to change their mind on the team to support (I'll still be a diehard Wings fan). LV is a 24-hour town. Yes, some other places have convenience stores that stay open 24 hours, but here, a lot more than that is open 24/7. This means there are a lot of people who can't make it to the games. LV has a bad history of supporting minor level teams. Years ago we had an IHL team that did fairly well (the Las Vegas Thunder) that played at the Thomas & Mack Center, where our UNLV Rebels played. The most recent ECHL team (Wranglers) very rarely could fill the 9, 000 seats of the Orleans. The arena was nice, tickets were inexpensive, parking was good and the games were always entertaining. We have yet to have ANY minor league sport thrive here. IMHO they could not have put the arena in a worse spot. Locals dread going anywhere near that area because of access and parking. We could give 2 sh#*ts about the casinos surrounding it. There are a lot of people who need to be educated about hockey. Most people don’t even realize we have two rinks, youth programs and adult leagues. If they want the team to succeed the NHL needs to do like they did in Dallas and Phoenix and help build additional facilities in different areas of the city and really start a grass roots effort on youth hockey. As it is now our youth numbers have dropped dramatically since my kid played. Get kids and families interested in the sport and it might have a chance.

 

Reasons It Can Make It:

People here want a pro team. Hopefully they will support it after the honeymoon is over. We have the population and corporate sponsor ship to support it. There are three teams within driving distance (Ducks, Kings & Coyotes) and more teams that are less than a 2-hour flight away. Vegas is a great place to come and have fun and isn’t really that expensive to visit. We should get a good showing from the out of town team supporters. No one can put on a show better than LV. I can’t see a boring moment before, during or after the game. The majority of the season tickets were bought by the people (not the casinos or other businesses) so we have a potential solid fan base. The team PR people need to get the media to support the team. Up till now the media hasn’t done dick to support any hockey. Jason Zucker is a Vegas boy (even though he was born in CA). When he played for the USA National team the media didn’t say a word. When he was drafted, nothing. If he played baseball, football or even golf they would have covered it. We have other local boys who have been drafted by NHL teams or play D1 hockey. We have had youth teams win the National championships or play in the Pee Wee international tourney, no coverage. These were special events that should have been covered but weren’t. The media has to get everyone excited about the game. Teach people the game of hockey. They need to know it’s not about fighting. We can’t have people new to the game get disappointed and not want to go to another game because there were not a bunch of fights. They need to know the rules to understand the game. All of this takes time, hopefully the people have the attention span to last long enough.

 

If this team doesn’t do well it will be a black eye to the NHL which is the last thing they need and the last thing I want is to get any professional team and have Vegas become a laughing stock in the sporting community.   

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On the education side, I remember watching televised games in the early days of the Predators and when there was a whistle for offsides/icing and the like then they would say such over the PA. It would be.......tweet......."Offside"......or tweet......."Icing". A little thing but I'm sure it helped.

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I agree doing that would help. I would love to see, after warm ups and before they Zam the ice, have some youth players (not a full squad, just enough to get the point across) come out and demonstrate icing, offsides and maybe 1 or 2 more things to help people learn. Before the game and during intermission show videos of what is and isn't a good hit, what boarding, crosschecking, head contact diving, etc. is. They could even do it like the ads you see in the airport using entertainers and put a comical spin to it. last thing is to advertise the crap out of it. They can't just say Vegas is getting a NHL team, they have to follow it up. How about this...It's not Vegas gets hockey, it's Vegas "GETS" hockey. Start showing that we know (get) the game. 

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All about cross-promotion. Do ads with guys in full gear doing Vegas type things, playing at the tables, chilling by a pool, doing some dj spinning in a club........

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So basically just follow a player around when their not practicing or playing.....

 

Community involvement will also be key.

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I'm talking about humorous advertising with hockey players in full gear.

 

Yes, once the team is up and running the players will have to do a lot of school visits, clinics, etc......

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44 minutes ago, chippa13 said:

I'm talking about humorous advertising with hockey players in full gear.

 

I figured that.

 

It will be interesting to see how the team players do living here. Most are used to coming to Vegas and partying up. It can be real easy to get caught up in the nightlife. More so than LA or NY since it never stops here. Or how visiting teams do if they get an off day. More than likely visiting teams will stay at one of the hotels close to the arena. They all have big casinos, nightclubs and strip clubs that are real close.

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On 6/15/2016 at 5:37 PM, chk hrd said:

 

I figured that.

 

It will be interesting to see how the team players do living here. Most are used to coming to Vegas and partying up. It can be real easy to get caught up in the nightlife. More so than LA or NY since it never stops here. Or how visiting teams do if they get an off day. More than likely visiting teams will stay at one of the hotels close to the arena. They all have big casinos, nightclubs and strip clubs that are real close.

Team officials will have to be extremely vigilant when assembling the roster. A couple guys with a history of partying could take down the whole locker room.

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