Las Vegas (George Rose/Getty Images)
The Las Vegas expansion bid was filed under Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC, but more than 40 percent of respondents to a poll hosted by the Las Vegas Sun are behind called the potential Las Vegas NHL franchise the ‘Aces.’ Prospective owner Bill Foley has said the team name will be determined by season ticket depositors.
Potential Las Vegas NHL franchise owner Bill Foley may have filed for an expansion club using Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC, but it seems as though fans in the area may want another nickname to be associated with the club.
According to a poll that has been open for one week on the VegasWantsHockey.com website, and run by the Las Vegas Sun, those who have participated in the poll — which is open to fans in Sin City and across the world — are largely in favor of the name ‘Aces,’ with more than 40 percent of the 800-plus votes going in favor of the name.
Maybe we won’t see the Black Knights in the NHL after all.
Foley has repeatedly said that when it comes to the naming of the club, the power will be in the hands of those who made season ticket deposits.
“The application has been submitted under the name Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC. and now we will await next steps as we proceed through this application process,” Foley said in a late-July statement. “The name of the team will be determined by our season ticket depositors so get ready with your suggestions and keep the faith.”
The Black Knights nickname stemmed from Foley’s affection for the United States Military Academy, including a love of its sports teams. In an interview with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman this past December, Foley explained.
“I love the name Black Knights because I was a West Point guy, went to Army, it’s close to my heart,” Foley told Friedman. “And the black knight, many people don’t know this, is actually the good knight. And I think that Black Knights would be a great name.”
But that fans are interested in the Aces name doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Like many team names, the Aces moniker has a hint of local flavor what with Las Vegas being the gambling capital of the world. When considering a team name, many franchises go with something rooted in local culture. Recent expansion franchises, such as the Nashville Predators and now-defunct Atlanta Thrashers, have names associated with their surroundings. The Predators name came from the fang and bones discovered in Nashville in 1971. The thrasher is the Georgia state bird. And in a city famous for gambling, Aces would make sense as a team name.
It will all come down to the fans, though. They’re the ones who made the team viable in Las Vegas and they’ll be the ones chanting the nickname of a club they helped give an identity.