A common theme referenced when talking about the validity of Las Vegas a viable expansion market is support. Fan support, ownership support, corporate support, pretty much anyone who will keep the team upright financially.
We’ve touched on the subject many times here at SinBin.vegas, but I keep seeing the same general correlation popping up in articles and it finally struck a nerve.
Attendance and support for minor league teams, one off events, and tournaments being hosted in Las Vegas is in no way directly correlated to how the city will support a professional hockey franchise.
The most recent article stating this was from MWHL.net. After you get through the off base assumptions, ridiculous conclusions, and factual inaccuracies made in the article, we get to their eventual point.
So can Las Vegas support pro hockey? The answer may be found this weekend, February 19 and 20, when the Mountain West Hockey League hosts the MWHL Classic at Sobe Arena in Las Vegas. Officials will be on hand to determine whether local hockey fans will turn out to support pro hockey in Las Vegas. -MWHL.net
This may be “pro hockey“, but it’s not pro hockey. As much as I understand what they are trying to do (get people to believe supporting their league has impact on the NHL’s decision), this correlation has to stop. The Las Vegas Wranglers did not fold because of fan support, and even if they did, that has absolutely no impact on the success of an NHL team in the city.
I could go into all the details about how minor league sports and major league sports are different, but there’s really no need to waste any more of your time.
I’ll just give you some facts instead. 14,000 season tickets have been sold (including the entire upper bowl of an arena no one has ever been in). Every luxury box is sold, meaning corporate support for the nonexistent team is booming. And finally, there is not and has never been a major league team in Las Vegas.
Jumping to conclusions about minor league support may be hip, or trendy, or whatever word those weird people in the Northeast are using nowadays. But it’s simply not related to major league support, nor will it ever be.
Hopefully Las Vegas gets the chance to prove it once and for all. Cause you’re damn right we will.