It seem’s not everyone is as optimistic as SinBin.vegas. And the sad part is, doubters everywhere aren’t doubting expansion, they’re doubting Las Vegas. Nothing new. Are they making good arguments? Are their concerns for real? Let’s break it down.
Covers.com is one of my favorite websites, especially during hockey season. The hockey forum is filled with intriguing conversations that gets all sorts of hockey fans chiming in. Currently, the most amusing thread was started from a Flyers fan trying to argue that Sidney Crosby is not an elite player. Pretty clueless huh? However, that’s not the intelligent banter I’m talking about.
The forum board lit up this week after the Associated Press echoed our reports. Some commenters were glowing with positivity while others were still unsure. One continuous complaint was about the name the Black Knights. While some argue the Las Vegas Black Knights is a mouthful, it really shouldn’t matter because that’s what The Creator wants. The team name is up to the owner, and frankly it should be, remember this part of the deal. Fan votes usually come up with something lame, like the Raptors or Rubber Puckies. After I explained to the forum that Las Vegas will go by the nickname the Knights, some changed their tune. The Mets don’t go by the Metropolitans, no one calls the Knicks the Knickerbockers, and same with the Athletics. Going by the Knights will make things less clunky for pessimists.
Now came the juicy stuff. The comments and concerns we’ve been hearing for years. Can Las Vegas be a successful NHL town? It’s nothing new, but some people just can’t get over it. Is it because skeptics think Quebec is more deserving? Maybe. Or is it because visitors of Las Vegas sometimes think they know the city more than locals? The continuous arguments from outsiders about the Wranglers and Thunder failing don’t pass the smell test. Of course it looked like the Wranglers failed, but really it was a combination of a casino wanting to make more money and the lack of ice. The Wranglers really had nowhere to go after the Orleans Casino sent them packing. Was it a bad deal for hockey fans? Sure, but it had nothing to do with the hockey culture in Las Vegas.
Moving past Covers, more profiled detractors like ESPN’s Linda Cohn voiced her concern on Twitter.
Looks like NHL wanted to beat NFL to Las Vegas. Putting a team in Vegas is one thing. Selling it is another. Big gamble. No pun intended.
— Linda Cohn (@lindacohn) June 14, 2016
As much as I like, and appreciate the die-hard Rangers fan I have to wonder where this tweet is coming from. What does “selling the team” mean? Selling 14,000+ season tickets? Or selling out T-Mobile luxury suites? Or even selling SinBin.vegas T-Shirts? I got ya there Linda, women’s medium sound good? Oh, and when can we stop with the pun-intended/not intended thing? Everyone gets it, there are casinos here.
You see, it’s not that people are against the Knights, or really even Las Vegas. The pessimists are just concerned for things they shouldn’t be concerned with. The NHL and The Creator have done their research on Las Vegas for years. Let them stress about filling seats in 2020. It’s a waste of time to distress about team finances, or a dedicated fanbase. Let Foley and the people of Las Vegas worry about that.