Report: Toronto, Seattle, Quebec City to join Vegas in 2017 NHL expansion
Apparently Las Vegas isn't the only city on the National Hockey League's expansion team radar: Seattle, Toronto and Quebec City will add franchises as well with a target date of 2017, according to a tweet from SportsBusinessNews' Howard Bloom.
Bloom said the four-fold expansion, which would increase the number of NHL teams to 34 and the number of Canadian team to nine, could raise $1.4 billion in expansion fees.
NHL expansion – four teams added by 2017, Quebec City, Toronto, Seattle, and Las Vegas $1.4b in expansion fees — Howard Bloom (@SportsBizNews) August 27, 2014
A report Tuesday in Canada's The Province revealed the finalization of an NHL franchise in Las Vegas, with only the new team's ownership left to determine. The move would entitle Las Vegas to a professional sports franchise in one of the four major sports league's for the first time in the city's history. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has previously voiced disapproval of such a move out of concern over the city's potentially damaging connection to the sports betting industry.
On Wednesday morning, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly publicly denied that anything was imminent in Las Vegas.
Seattle has been at the center of expansion rumors for more than a year and Quebec City has a new arena that is slated to open in 2015. A new team in Toronto would mean a second franchise for the city. The Maple Leafs are the NHL's highest grossing and most valuable franchise by net worth.
- Will Green