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January 22, 2018

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Analysis: NHL expansion to Las Vegas doesn’t make sense


Chris Carlson / AP

Los Angeles Kings center Tyler Toffoli, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Jeff Carter against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 24, 2014.

Comparing the number of Las Vegas hockey fans against the number required for an NHL franchise to break even financially, data-crunching news site FiveThirtyEight has concluded it's "iffy" Las Vegas would be able to support a rumored NHL expansion.

"The unique characteristics of Las Vegas might make the city a special case, but if it follows the league’s heretofore-established relationship between fan base size and financial success, it might be all but impossible for its new team to turn a long-term profit without a change to the underlying economics of the NHL as a whole," Neil Paine writes.

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