Headline Hockey Sports Business

The Puck Will Drop In Sin City Before It Drops In Quebec

According to several media outlets, hockey may be coming to Sin City real soon.  Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports says all that remains is deciding which owner gets to take credit for bringing the first major sports franchise to Las Vegas. At first look, it would seem that Las Vegas would be a great place to have a NHL hockey team: Casinos, gambling and many sports fans (or gambling fans) who would love to watch a professional sporting event. There is reportedly a 20,000 seat stadium in the process of being built that should be ready by 2016.

However, the drawbacks to having a team in Las Vegas are exceptionally evident. For one thing, this team would have to ascertain a strong fan base, in the desert no less. When thinking about the possibility of a hockey team in the desert, one cannot help but think about the now Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes had to be taken over by the NHL because they could not pay their debts. Quebec City, on the other hand, reportedly has a 90,000 strong fan club . Quebec City has been dying to have a hockey team since the Nordiques left in 1995 for Colorado. It would not be surprising in the least to see their season tickets sell out in seconds like the Winnipeg Jets when they returned.

Besides a robust fan club and ticket sales, there are also the tax ramifications to consider. In the United States, we have a 35% corporate tax rate, which is among the highest in the world. Canada, on the other hand, bodes a 15% corporate tax rate. Just recently Burger King agreed to an $11 billion merger with Tim Horton’s a Canada-based restaurant which some speculate is an attempt to escape the United States’ exorbitant corporate tax rate. Also, when the Nordiques left in 1995 the Canadian dollar was very weak. According to, in 1995 when the Nordiques left Quebec, the Canadian dollar was only worth $0.73 American. Today, the Canadian dollar is up to $0.92 American. That is almost a 14% increase. Using the same chart, during the 2011-2012 fiscal years, the Canadian Dollar and US Dollar were essentially identical.

Thus, while the prospect of gambling between periods may be enticing, it may not be the smartest financial decision with the Quebec City Nordiques etching for a resurrection.