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Could T-Mobile Arena be home for hockey team?

Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 21:39:12-04

With T-Mobile Arena opening Wednesday, hockey fans are hoping it will soon be home to a NHL franchise.

"If we don't get a hockey team, I'll be shocked," said Bill Foley, prospective NHL team owner.

NHL owners are meeting in June and the expansion could be a big topic there, possibly leading to a team in Las Vegas. Foley hasn't been invited yet but he says he's not worried.

"I am the most patient, quiet, unassuming individual in America right now," he said.

It's because the ball is already rolling on the process and if the expansion is approved, the league has an outline of how it could work, which Foley says has to be a good sign.

"They've publicly said if we're going to expand, this is what the expansion draft would look like. So honestly if they're not going to expand why would they give all the general managers an expansion draft plan?"

In the meantime, Foley is making sure the city is ready. That includes building a practice facility in Summerlin that wouldn't just be for a potential team.

"This is going to be important for Las Vegas," he said. "We'll have a lot of youth hockey, a lot of league hockey, and they'll all be playing out of the facility. It's going to be state of the art. It will have a restaurant plus it will take care of the NHL team."

More than 14,000 tickets have already been sold and if everything goes according to plan, they could be watching a game as early as October 2017.