McPhee: 'Vegas is a hospitality town,' would be great hub city
The NHL is close to deciding which two cities will host the potential resumption of play this summer, and Vegas Golden Knights president of hockey operations George McPhee believes Las Vegas offers everything the NHL needs from a hub location.
“Vegas is a hospitality town," McPhee said Monday, according to Sportsnet's Mike Johnston. "It’s a service business down there and they’re used to big, big events and they can handle this one.”
The league is looking to spread the 24 returning teams out evenly between two locations in secure bubbles away from the public. While making the case for Vegas, McPhee says players would have access to everything they'll need at some of the largest hotels in North America.
“Any time a tourist goes to Vegas and you get into one of the hotels, you rarely leave because they have everything there,” McPhee said. “Your meals and all your entertainment, you can work out there, theaters, sportsbook, spas, you can get a haircut, whatever you need.
"... These hotels, some of them have as many as six, seven thousand rooms."
In terms of rink availability, McPhee said “there’s enough ice to go around," mentioning the two sheets of ice at the Golden Knights' practice facility, and two additional sheets at the Las Vegas Ice Center about a mile away.
The NHL's bubbles will be very tight once play resumes, and the league isn't overly concerned about a recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Nevada and considers Vegas a strong option, according to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.
The NHL cut the list of hub-city candidates from 10 to six on Saturday, with Columbus eliminated from consideration, and Minnesota reportedly also now out of the running. Las Vegas, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Chicago reportedly remain in the mix.