It appears there are complications surrounding Vancouver’s hub city bid, which was reportedly a frontrunner as late as yesterday.
Separate reports today from Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston and Jeff Marek indicate that Vancouver may not be picked by the NHL after all. The league has shortened its list of candidate cities from 10 to six, with Edmonton, Toronto, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Chicago reportedly still in the running.
“As it relates to Vancouver specifically, we’re hearing there’s been a snag in the talks and it looks like it’s over quarantine and bubble rules … but apparently the deal couldn’t be closed yesterday because of it,” said Marek in an interview with James Cybulski and Perry Solkowski on Sportsnet 650 this morning.
“The momentum has completely stopped,” added Johnston, who also appeared on Sportsnet 650 today, in an interview with Brendan Batchelor and Jamie Dodd. “It did look like Vancouver was all but certain to become one of the hub cities, but now that appears to be in serious jeopardy.”
The NHL has lots to consider for its hub city model, which includes providing players an enjoyable environment separate from their families for up to two months.
Vancouver still appears to be the safest option for the NHL, given British Columbia’s low case count to date, with Edmonton not far behind. Las Vegas can offer unmatched hotel infrastructure, while Toronto holds the distinction of being the last Eastern Conference city in the running.