Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Proposal for Las Vegas to Be The NHL's 31st City (Not What you Would Expect)

There has been plenty of talk over the past few years that Las Vegas will be the next city for the NBA or the NHL to place a franchise through relocation or expansion. Most pundits think that basketball will be the first league to make the move in to sin city.

The NHL has had phenomenal success, invigorating the NHL Awards by making it a true event in the favorite city for people to visit in North America, Las Vegas.

The Kings have had incredible success, playing the “Frozen Fury” preseason game in Vegas every year where fans make an annual weekend event of it. Why stop there?

I have a proposal that could make Las Vegas the NHL's 31st city in a home away from home proposal that could lead to a permanent NL franchise eventually or the best thing to happen to the NHL since the Winter Classic in the short run.

My proposition is simple and by virtue of this post, I expect royalties when everyone sees the light and it comes to fruition. All 30 NHL teams will sacrifice one home game every two years and have it played in the one of several new arenas that are on the books in Las Vegas.

The principal is very simple but has huge advantages for the NHL, the City of Las Vegas, and the individual teams. Under my plan, every team will play one Saturday night game in Vegas, every year, alternating who loses the home game in their own arena.

There would be three games a month from November through March and it could be weaved in to each team's west coast road trip.

So how would each entity benefit?

The NHL would be able to claim a very important piece of geography without a full commitment of 41 games in a city that some folks think would not be a good environment for hockey. It would be an extension of the 'sun belt strategy” to take hockey to new areas without placing a franchise in an unproven market.

Las Vegas would benefit by having another “act” to sell to the masses and a way to fill up hotel rooms 15 weekends a year. Tours could be arranged with planes and blocks of rooms to bring up to 5,000 fans from each team into the Vegas that otherwise may not have come. All the casino operators want to do is get folks in the door so it is an automatic win for them.

The teams would benefit by splitting the gate with the Vegas promoters and trade off one of those Tuesday night games against a lesser opponent that don't sell well anyway. Additionally, what better marketing tool could you have than to send your big advertisers and local high rollers to Las Vegas for a Friday night to Sunday weekend, free of charge, to ensure loyalty and reward the players for their contribution to the local franchises' bottom line.

The big winners are the most important part of the equation. The fans from the teams involved will be salivating every season when the schedule is released to find out which weekend their annual road trip to Las Vegas will be.

Fans love a road trip and there is no better destination than Vegas. If they know that it will happen every year, they will plan ahead and with packages put together with the local teams and the Vegas hotels it will be something that the die hard fans will not miss, and they will do it year after year.

The bottom line is that there are no losers with my proposal and every entity involved comes out smelling like a rose.

Mark my words. If everyone would by in to this, it would be the next best thing after the Winter Classic. Let's do it and see!

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd go see the NY Rangers in Vegas every year, no doubt about it. Any reason to visit Vegas one more time every year automatically has my backing.

Like anything else it comes down to money and how much the owners would stand to win/lose off of this.