Bill Foley (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Las Vegas and Quebec City are one step close to landing expansion teams. The NHL has officially invited the groups backing both expansion bids to participate in the second phase of the expansion process. Las Vegas and Quebec City were the only two groups to submit expansion applications.
The groups bidding to bring NHL expansion franchises to Las Vegas and Quebec City are one step closer to making their expansion dreams a reality.
Wednesday afternoon, Bill Foley, the prospective owner of the Las Vegas team, released a statement through Vegas Wants Hockey saying the club had been invited to participate in the second phase of the expansion process.
"We are pleased to report that the NHL has invited us to participate in Phase II of the application process to secure an NHL team in Las Vegas,” Foley said in a statement. “In this phase, we will be providing the League with additional information, including information about the Las Vegas market and the MGM AEG Arena being developed between Monte Carlo and New York New York. We will also be permitted access to information provided by the League that it deems important to us.”
Quebecor, which owns The Hockey News, is supporting the Quebec City bid. According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, Quebecor, too, has been invited to participate in Phase II. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the invitation to Le Journal De Quebec’s Kevin Dube.
The first phase of the expansion process, the application stage for interested parties, officially ended July 20 with only Las Vegas and Quebec City formally submitting bids. Prior to the application process, it was believed that Seattle and Toronto were interested in submitting expansion bids, but the NHL did not receive applications by the deadline.
As part Phase I, both Quebec City and Las Vegas were asked to submit $10 million as an application fee, $2 million of which will not be refunded should the expansion bids prove unsuccessful.
Before submitting the expansion bid, the Las Vegas group had performed a ticket drive, similar to that which the Winnipeg Jets undertook when relocating from Atlanta to Manitoba’s capital. The Las Vegas seat drive accumulated more than 13,000 season-ticket deposits.
“We are hopeful that at the conclusion of this phase, the League will invite us to participate in Phase III,” Foley said.