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March 29, 2017

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NHL season-ticket drive reaches half its goal

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L.E. Baskow

Gavin Maloof drops a ceremonial “first puck” during the “Let’s Bring Hockey to Las Vegas!” press conference at the MGM Grand Ballroom on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015.

National Hockey League Presser at MGM

Gary Bettman, commissioner of the NHL, addresses the crowd as Bill Foley, chairman of Fidelity National Financial Inc., Black Knight and FIS, listens during the “Let’s Bring Hockey to Las Vegas!” press conference Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015, at MGM Grand Ballroom. Launch slideshow »

Within 48 hours of launching a season-ticket deposit drive, the group positioning to bring a National Hockey League franchise to Las Vegas said today it has secured deposits representing 50 percent of its goal.

Hockey Vision Las Vegas hopes to get deposits for 10,000 season tickets, which officials say would demonstrate to NHL decision-makers that Las Vegas would support a franchise.

“It is our hope that the Las Vegas community will continue to rally around this incredible initiative,” said Bill Foley, the Florida mortgage company billionaire who is heading the effort. “We’ve seen an outpouring of support, and we know Southern Nevadans will continue to place deposits to help us demonstrate that Las Vegas can support its first major league sports franchise.”

Deposits, which are refundable if Las Vegas doesn’t get a team, range from $150 to $900, depending on where the seats are. The team would play in the $375 million MGM/AEG arena being built behind New York-New York and scheduled to open in April 2016.

The drive began Tuesday afternoon with a rally at the MGM Grand. It was attended by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who stressed he was there strictly to show his support.

Even if the season-ticket drive reaches its goal, there’s no guarantee the NHL would choose Las Vegas — or expand at all, he said.

“When Bill asked to conduct a season-ticket drive in Las Vegas, he said he wanted to be satisfied that his pursuit of an NHL team here would make sense and erase any doubts about whether Las Vegas was prepared to support professional sports,” Bettman said. “He knew he wasn’t promised what the result might be, but he clearly wanted to take the temperature of the market.”

Visit vegaswantshockey.com to reserve tickets.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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