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Bubolz Discusses NFL, Golden Knights Business On TSN

Vegas' team president also spoke about the team's jerseys, LeBron James and building our franchise

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

Building a hockey team from scratch is no easy task.

After all, there's a reason that no first-year NHL franchise has qualified for the playoffs since 1980.

This is because gathering players where you used to have none, assembling a staff and meshing everything together is hard work. Especially when pitted against opponents that have decades of infrastructure, who are years into carefully laid out plans for success, it can be downright difficult to even have a respectable record in a team's formative years.

But while the on-ice product often receives more attention for expansion franchises, it's an equally challenging process to put together a business staff from scratch.

Which although it doesn't always have as much pizzazz as on-ice activity, is equally important to a team's long-term success.

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For the Vegas Golden Knights, there are two elements that make the process of building a business that much more interesting to follow.

One is that we are this city's first major league sports franchise. This means that there isn't much of a precedent for the task we are undertaking, nor is there much of a comparable for how a professional sports team in Vegas should operate its business.


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The second element that makes this process all the more interesting is the prospect of the NFL following suit and also planting a team in Nevada.

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In a recent interview with TSN Radio in Vancouver, team president Kerry Bubolz was asked about the possibility of the Golden Knights being joined by the Raiders in Las Vegas.

"I think, at the end of the day, as we kind of view that opportunity, we really look at it and say that it's two separate businesses," Bubolz said. "If you look at the economics of the NFL, in terms of local revenues necessary to be successful, it's much more of a national-driven product. Otherwise you wouldn't have the Green Bay Packers, as an example.

"We really see them as two separate businesses. From a competitive perspective, we don't really view it that way. Ultimately, if it's great for Las Vegas, then we're going to be supportive of the effort. We'll see how it plays out over the next several weeks."

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In his interview with TSN Radio, Bubolz touched on many subjects.

They included the timeline for our team to introduce its jerseys, lessons learned working with LeBron James in Cleveland that can be applied to Vegas and his formative years as a hockey fan in Tulsa, Okla.

To listen to the full interview, CLICK HERE.

In an interview focused on the business side of the team's dynamics, Bubolz also discussed why he thinks hockey and Vegas is a solid long-term match.


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"What makes me know that it's going to work in Vegas is the foundational elements that already in place," Bubolz said. "As I looked at this opportunity, it started with the ownership. So you've got great, quality ownership in Mr. Foley.

"Facilities. T-Mobile…it is spectacular. It's going to be…the sightlines, the lighting, the game presentation. Just the experience we're going to be able to create for hockey at the NHL level will be off the charts.

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"The new practice facility that we're building here in Summerlin. Major investment, north of $25 million that's going to give us great facilities on the team side.

"When you look at the leadership of people like George McPhee, Kelly McCrimmon. Our owner put together really an All-Star Team on the team side of the organization

"And then the ticket drive, which again is the foundation of any major league sports team. The success that they had. It wasn't just corporations and casinos buying up a bunch of tickets. 94 percent of the 16,000 deposits were people that bought between one and eight seats. So these are actually people in the market, locals as they call them here, buying tickets and making long-term commitments to the team….I'm confident we're going to be successful."

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