Gavin Maloof, minority owner of the NHL’s new team in Las Vegas, dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss what is a very exciting time for Sin City.
“It’s been a long road, but it’s been a very rewarding road,” Maloof said on Ferrall on the Bench. “We’re very pleased to help bring this team to Las Vegas. Our people in this city have been dying for sports for so many years. It’s the first team in 150 years of statehood of Nevada.”
Which, if you think about it, is pretty crazy. Maloof thought so, anyway. So in 2013, he approached NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and told him he wanted to bring an NHL team to Las Vegas.
“Then I found out later they were building a new arena (in Las Vegas),” Maloof said. “I said, ‘Let’s put the team in the new arena.’ One thing led to another, and here we are today.”
Maloof will own the team with his brother, Joe, and business partner Bill Foley.
“We originally talked about buying a football team, an NFL team,” Maloof said. “Later on, the arena became a reality and we saw the plans. We went to Bill and we met in Montana at his ranch and we said, ‘Hey, we think that Las Vegas would be great for a hockey team. There’s never been a team here. People are dying for sports. They’re sports enthusiasts.’”
Foley liked the idea.
“This is a hockey town,” Maloof said. “A lot of people don’t know that, but Las Vegas is always in the top 10 (for hockey ratings) – and it doesn’t even have a team yet.”