Why Las Vegas Should be a Hub City for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this Year
As reported last week by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, the NHL has canceled the remainder of the regular season and will resume with a 24-team playoff when they return.
As a part of their return plan, there will be a hub city for each conference where all the teams in said conference will play. This is to prevent the spread of coronavirus and prevent any players from getting infected.
There have been 10 cities named as possible candidates to be hub city which include Chicago, Colombus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Vancouver.
With wanting to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and sufficiently accommodate all the players as the main goal, I believe that Las Vegas should be one of the two hub cities for this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Vegas is a great city for hosting sporting events when there isn’t a global pandemic happening, but it would be more than accommodating for this year’s peculiar playoff format.
While the national percentage of people infected with COVID-19 is 0.57% while the percentage of people in Vegas infected is a little more than half that at 0.29%. Not to mention, there are 11 hospitals within 5 miles of T-Mobile Arena, where the games would be played.
While the population of Las Vegas is about 645 thousand people, the strip was nearly deserted before the recent protests. The city’s Hotels and Casinos are set to reopen June 4, but certain hotels and casinos can be used to house thousands of players, as well as coaching and production staff members.
T-Mobile Arena is less than half a mile from the strip, and the closest hotel, New York New York, is 0.4 miles away from the arena.
The playoffs will most certainly be played out without fans in attendance, so the glamour of Las Vegas may not be of much importance. However, staying in Vegas may feel a little more hospitable for the players than other suggested cities.
While all of these cities may be great hosts to the playoffs, Vegas is probably the best option.
Pierson Scheinberg is a student who lives in California, and attends the College Preparatory School. Pierson lived in Baltimore, Maryland until August 2017 when he moved to the Bay Area. Pierson is an avid golfer who enjoys watching all sports. He is a writer and sports analyst for At the Buzzer.