The NHL confirmed today that only two applications for an expansion team were submitted — one for Las Vegas, the other for Quebec City.
“As previously announced, NHL expansion applications were made available to all potentially interested applicants on July 6,” the league wrote in a statement. “Since that date, we have received requests from, and responded by sending applications to, 16 separate groups/individuals.
“The deadline for filing an application and proceeding in the NHL expansion process was last night. We can confirm that we have received two applications: one from Bill Foley for a franchise in Las Vegas, Nevada, and one from Quebecor for a franchise in Quebec City, Quebec.
“Our purpose, in initiating the expansion process in the manner we did, was not only to explore the possibility of admitting new members to the NHL but also, at the outset, to set realistic guideposts to distinguish between bona fide expressions of interest (i.e., those which have at least substantial ownership capabilities and an arena or the realistic possibility of an arena) from those indications of potential interest which were, at best, merely hopes or aspirations. Apparently, only Mr. Foley and Quebecor have the confidence in their ability to secure an arena and suitable ownership capability to move forward with this process.
“We now intend to focus exclusively on the two expansion applications that have been submitted in accordance with the previously announced process. The process we have outlined for qualified applicants includes at least two more stages of documentation submission. We will provide no further updates until there is something substantive to announce.”
While many expected a group, or groups, from Seattle to submit an application, no bids were forthcoming, as the absence of a suitable arena in the Pacific Northwest city remains a major stumbling block.