Sportsnet is going one step further and reporting that it’s unofficially a done deal and that Sin City will indeed be one of the two sites chosen and that the league will announce this possibly sooner than the 22nd as teams need to know where they are going as soon as possible.
MGM Resorts International is reportedly keeping some hotels not currently open to the public off the market so that one or more could be made available to host visiting teams after July 1.
It’s likely that two hotels would be required to meet the needs of the 12 visiting clubs. The teams would be largely quarantined in their Strip resorts, where they will eat, sleep and reside between being shuttled to and from T-Mobile Arena, which is co-owned by MGM Resorts, and other facilities used for practice purposes. Because the NHL has asked for a non-gaming, nonsmoking hotel, the Vdara and the Delano are the two most likely candidates to house the teams and their support staffs.
If the second hub city chosen is in the eastern half of North America (Toronto, Columbus, Pittsburgh have all been mentioned as front-runners) don’t be surprised if the Florida Panthers and the rest of the Eastern Conference playoff teams end up in Las Vegas, as that would eliminate any chance of a team having home ice advantage.