Las Vegas NHL expansion group not deterred by Seattle talk

Elliotte Friedman sits down with prospective Las Vegas NHL owner William Foley to get his thoughts on why the NHL will work in Vegas and his connection with Wayne Gretzky.

While prospective ownership groups from two cities, Las Vegas and Quebec City, submitted formal bids for National Hockey League expansion franchises, Seattle will not go away.

Seattle City Council is set to vote on a potential arena development project in January, and there has been talk of a $285 million overhaul of the KeyArena, the former home of the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder.

Whether or not the NHL is waiting on arena news out of Washington State has not deterred Bill Foley from moving forward with plans to bring an NHL team to Las Vegas.

“I’m aware of what’s going on (in Seattle) but in my communication with the league, our situation isn’t dependent on third parties,” Foley said Tuesday, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We believe we’re in good shape and we’re proceeding as if we will play in 2017.”

Foley and his minority partners, the Maloof brothers of Las Vegas, have a $375 million arena near completion and a fairly successful season ticket drive behind their bid. Still, all is quiet on the expansion front.

The NHL’s Board of Governors will meet December 7 in Pebble Beach, California, but an expansion vote is not on the table for that date. Foley, who will not be in attendance, remains focused on furthering his plan to bring the NHL to Las Vegas for 2017.

“I haven’t been invited,” Foley said. “Honestly, the only thing I’m worried about is Las Vegas and what’s under our control.

“I’m focused on trying to find a place to build our practice facility. I’m focused on the new arena and our fans who’ve put down deposits on season tickets.”

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.