- League most recentlyadded Blue Jackets, Wild in 2000
- Las Vegas group has secured 13,000 ticket commitments for team
The National Hockey League has opened the process for expansion during its league meetings in Las Vegas, which is a potential front-runner for a future franchise.
The NHL’s board of governors said Wednesday that markets and ownership groups interested in obtaining a team can submit applications from July 6 through Aug. 10. The NHL most recently expanded in 2000, when the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild were added.
“Over the past several years we have received numerous expressions of interest from potential markets and ownership groups that have indicated an interest in joining the National Hockey League,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “The board decided today to examine those expressions more formally and also to welcome any other groups or markets that may be considering pursuit of an NHL team.”
Bettman said there’s no guarantee that any expansion teams will be granted as a result of the process. Billionaire Bill Foley is pushing for an NHL team in Las Vegas by the start of the 2017-18 season and said his group, Hockey Vision Las Vegas, has secured more than 13,000 ticket commitments. Foley isn’t in attendance at the Board of Governors meeting.