The NHL became a more interesting place the moment that Bill Foley’s bid was accepted for the Vegas Golden Knights expansion team.
Talking to the guy a bit during the NHL Awards, there’s an air of confidence around him, the kind of effortless vibe you get from a CEO or, like, an airline pilot. But there’s also a welcome, winking hucksterism to him, which is what you’d expect from a hockey owner in a city where every buffet is “the longest in Vegas!”
All that said, Foley spoke to Forbes recently about the Golden Knights’ successes even before they’ve played a game, including that they’ve “sold 13,500 of the 17,000 seats” for games as well as all the suites available.
And then he dropped this:
“We are number five, six or seven in terms of ticket revenue in the league. That’s how good Las Vegas has been to us,” says Foley as we sit on a veranda at his Chalk Hill winery in Napa Valley. “Edmonton has more revenue in their brand-new arena. The Rangers, Toronto, Chicago Black Hawks, they’re all ahead of us. Montreal is right with us. We have more revenue than the Flyers, Penguins, the Boston Bruins. Most of our tickets are multi-year. The lower bowl is three to ten years.”
Look, this seems … all we’re saying is that in terms of ticket revenue, the Penguins just completed a second straight run of 41 home dates and four rounds of the playoffs. In 2016, that meant $85 million in gate receipts, according to Forbes. The publication also had the Boston Bruins at $69 million at the gate, which was $7 million away from the Montreal Canadiens’ number, with whom Foley says the Golden Knights are about even.
Is it possible the Knights are on track for $76 million in ticket revenue next season? Are they, in Year 1, going to make more at the gate than some of the NHL’s most established teams?
It probably comes down to how Foley and his team choose to calculate such matters. But, like we said: There’s never a dull moment with him.
MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS