Tag: AEG

Vegas Strip Arena-Groundbreaking

MGM in early talks to attract NHL team to Las Vegas


There have been plenty of rumors about people trying to lure an NHL team – expansion or otherwise – to Las Vegas. The latest story came Thursday, as an exec from MGM Resorts acknowledged “preliminary talks” with a group hoping to accomplish just that, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Fox 5 Vegas reported.

“We would be supportive of an NHL team coming to our arena,” MGM Resorts International Dan D’Arrigo said. “We’re highly interested and we have been in discussions with a group.”

D’Arrigo didn’t speculate about whether such a scenario would involve relocating a current team or gaining an expansion franchise.

Here’s an interesting tidbit, though: MGM is teaming up with AEG (owner of the Los Angeles Kings) to bring a $350 million arena to Las Vegas. This post’s main image is an artist’s rendering of what such an arena might look like, while the Las Vegas Review-Journal shared this video from the groundbreaking in May:

“It’s a big day for Las Vegas. It’s a big day for Nevada. It’s a big day for entertainment,” MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren said. “We need to create the experience tourists are so yearning for. They want to be wowed.”

Again, this is far from the first time Vegas moguls have been tied to NHL expansion/relocation rumors, yet it’s interesting to see executives publicly acknowledging such interest.

One week ago, billionaire William Foley’s name was being thrown around, possibly in a potential deal to relocate the Arizona Coyotes. The NHL fired such talk down and has repeatedly denied expansion rumors in general, yet commissioner Gary Bettman admitted back in June that the league would look at Las Vegas “more closely” if expansion does become a reality.

(Click here for more Bettman on Vegas from May.)

There hasn’t been a specific response to this specific situation, which isn’t surprising since MGM hasn’t named the potentially interested group and seems to merely be dipping its toes in the water.

In the odd chance this situation comes to fruition and an NHL team ends up calling that MGM/AEG-owned arena its home, here’s a request on behalf of beat reporters repeatedly beleaguered by the Columbus Blue Jackets cannon: play the sound of slot machines pouring out coins after a home-team goal instead of the MGM lion growl:


NBC’s Dan Patrick says Las Vegas will have an NHL team by 2016

NHL-to-Vegas talks gained steam in August

Vegas talk from back in 2013

The Kings haven’t been shy about playing in Sin City

The market was hyped as a good spot for hockey even back in 2011

AEG CEO flatly denies Kings are up for sale

Stanley Cup Rangers Kings Hockey

It turns out the Los Angeles Kings aren’t for sale.

A report from the New York Post stated Philip Anschutz, head of AEG, would look to sell the Los Angeles Kings following the Stanley Cup Final.

While AEG originally denied the reports to the Post, the company reached out to ProHockeyTalk and President and CEO Dan Beckerman released this statement regarding the Post’s report:

“The unsubstantiated rumors printed in the New York Post earlier today about the potential sale of the Los Angeles Kings are false.  So I’m clear, the Los Angeles Kings are not for sale, and there are no plans to sell the franchise today, tomorrow or anytime in the future.  These rumors were started by anonymous sources seeking to create chaos and mischief.  We remain solely focused on one goal, winning the Stanley Cup, and we will not be distracted by such irresponsible reports.”

Stand down, Kings fans, your team won’t be in new hands any time soon. Back to focusing on the Kings being up 1-0 against the New York Rangers.

Report: Kings owner thinking of selling franchise

Philip Anschutz

While the Los Angeles Kings are busy in the Stanley Cup Final, the team owner may be looking to cash in on the team’s success and cash out while they’re riding high.

According to Josh Kosman of the New York Post, Kings owner Philip Anschutz is considering selling the franchise he’s owned since 1995 once the Cup Final is over. Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) has denied the report, however, but talk of selling the team isn’t new.

Anschutz attempted to sell AEG and all of its holdings back in 2012. Anschutz later called off the bidding on the team last spring and, then President and CEO, Tim Leiweke left the franchise and took the same job with the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

It’s believed the recent sale of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion is the inspiration for the latest talk of selling the Kings. Forbes listed the value of the Kings at $450 million in 2013.

Robitaille: Kings should go unaffected by AEG news

Luc Robitaille

The recent news of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) being taken off the market and the resignation of Kings governor Tim Leiweke has some fans wondering if it will have a drastic effect on the team itself.

Los Angeles’ President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille tells Jon Rosen of L.A. Kings Insider that there shouldn’t be any issues with how the team is run.

“Nothing’s going to change from day-to-day operations. I run the business operations, and Dean [Lombardi] runs the hockey operations, and the way it is right now is the way it’s going to stay. Our ownership group stays the same. A lot of us were discussing with Dan [Beckerman] from time to time, so we don’t see anything changing.”

Considering how surprising the news was of AEG turn of events was, Kings fans should be relieved to hear this. After all, we’ve seen how ownership shuffling and front office issues have affected other teams negatively.

Hearing it come from Robitaille also has that added effect of getting good news from someone everyone in L.A. loves. Even if there was bad news, having it come from him would somehow make it a little better.

Could AEG’s plans to build an NFL stadium in LA crush Kansas City’s NHL dreams?

Sprint Center

Earlier in July, Matt called Kansas City’s Sprint Center a “forgotten arena.” Now it might be more appropriate to call it “abandoned.”

Such an idea is founded upon the ripple effect of the announcement that AEG (the company that owns both the Sprint Center and the Los Angeles Kings) put together a financial plan to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star writes that the attention and investments put into that project would be so substantial that the Sprint Center – and it’s dream to host an NHL and/or NBA team – will probably be left in the dust.

The Sprint Center hasn’t seen anything beyond preseason games since it opened its doors in 2007, but this possibility could make the Pittsburgh Penguins-Los Angeles Kings exhibition far more bitter than sweat this summer. Here’s what Mellinger wrote about Tim Leiweke and AEG.

If you still hold out any hope for a team coming to the Sprint Center, you should know the company that bragged about making it all happen for us is no longer motivated to work on our behalf.

It’s telling that Leiweke is quoted constantly in the Los Angeles media but hasn’t talked to anyone in Kansas City in quite some time. He didn’t return multiple messages for this column.

He is among the most powerful men in sports and most visible figures in LA — sitting courtside at Lakers games — but he’s mostly a ghost when it comes to what was once presented in Kansas City.

The official line out of AEG is that Leiweke will comment when something meaningful happens, which realistically means never.

Ouch. To be fair to Leiweke and AEG, it really might not be about neglect. It would be one thing if it seemed like they lost interest in trying to remedy the situation immediately after the arena was built. Instead, the Sprint Center received attention in relocation rumors for the better part of four years, but nothing seems to work out.

Yet for all the doom and gloom, it’s far from safe to assume that something good won’t ever happen for Kansas City. The NBA’s possible lockout could force teams to either relocate or contract altogether. The NHL still has its fair share of franchises who are losing money, with the New York Islanders ranking among the teams that need a new arena the most.

It’s tough to deny the notion that this is another setback for the market’s hopes of landing a professional sports team, but it’s too early to give up on their long-term prospects. Things change quickly in the atmosphere of sports ownership. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Winnipeg Jets.

(H/T to Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy.)