Bettman on hand to wish Vegas ‘good luck’ as ticket drive begins

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The Las Vegas expansion group kicked off its season ticket campaign Tuesday, and had a fairly significant backer in attendance: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

“Here I am to watch Bill and his colleagues begin this season ticket drive and see whether or not Las Vegas’ interest matches Bill Foley’s interest,” Bettman said, per Fox 5 Vegas. “While I have nothing new to add to what I’ve said and repeated countless times since we gave Bill permission last year — I have no promises to make today — I do wish Bill and the people of Nevada good luck in this endeavor.”

Today’s ticket drive began at 1:30 p.m. PT, and prospective buyers were asked to visit http://www.vegaswantshockey.com to make deposits of $150 to $900, depending on the seats.

Foley and his partners — the Maloof brothers — are all about one thing right now.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“[Bettman] said ‘sell tickets,’” Foley recalled. “He said ‘don’t talk about anything except selling your tickets.’”

To do just that, Foley has enlisted a core group of 75 or so local Las Vegas business leaders, each charged with selling 60 ticket deposits. Four of the 75 have already reached their quota.

Foley’s big guns — Gavin and Joe Maloof, owners of the Sacramento Kings from 1998-2013 — are in charge of the 75.

“The Maloofs are my hammer,” Foley quipped.

The coming days promise to be interesting with regards to ticket sale numbers out of Las Vegas, and if they come close to the 10,000 mark needed. And while Bettman said not to read too much into his presence at Tuesday’s presser, he did note the league would be watching with great intrigue.

“We will certainly be interested to see the result,” he said.