The NHL will be the first major professional sports league to move to Las Vegas, as they have officially settled on the city for expansion as the league's 31st team. Seattle and Quebec City were also in the running for expansion.
The Associated Press broke the news on Tuesday, but it should come as no surprise. Talk of expansion has been in the works by the NHL for months, with Las Vegas the major party in the deal. According to an anonymous source from the Associated Press, the league has settled on Las Vegas should organizers come up with the $500 million expansion fee.
The news was leaked prior to the NHL's Board of Govenors meeting scheduled for June 22. The earliest the NHL can expand would be the 2017-18 season.
Also to be noted is the use of the word "expansion" and not "relocation." Rumors were swirling earlier this month that the Carolina Hurricanes might be a potential team to move, as owner Peter Karmanos Jr. is currently battling a lawsuit of more than $105 million.
In the run up to the deal, Las Vegas sold more than 13,200 season tickets in a campaign for the potential team. Just this April, a 17,500 seat multipurpose venue opened near the Las Vegas Strip.