By Matt Hickey The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) Las Vegas is moving forward with its bid to become the first NHL team to relocate to a state where it would not have to apply for approval from the league.
The Las Vegas bid, which is the subject of a lengthy legal challenge from MGM Resorts International, was formally filed Friday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees state environmental reviews.
The state’s Department of Environmental Quality also will consider the bid, according to an announcement.
The U.K. franchise also filed a request for $2.7 billion in tax breaks.
The bid is aimed at bringing an NBA team to the U; a Major League Soccer team to Texas; a professional soccer team to Minnesota; a minor league baseball team to Florida; and an NHL franchise to New Jersey.
The bid is part of a $500 billion plan to build an arena complex in Las Vegas.
It would have the Las Vegas Strip as its home.
The NHL has not decided whether to bring a team to Vegas.
The Los Angeles Kings are planning to move to Anaheim, California.
A Las Vegas-based team has not been confirmed.
The arena is expected to be ready for use by 2020.
The league will vote on the bid in October.
It could be the first step toward expanding the NHL into a new market, which would make it easier for teams to relocate.
The league has not yet committed to a timetable for its next expansion.
Las Vegas has been struggling with a series of financial problems, including a decline in revenue and declining hotel occupancy.
The city has not had an NHL team since the 2002-03 season.
In addition to MGM Resort International, which owns the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, the NHL has also filed an environmental assessment for a $5.2 billion stadium project in Los Angeles.
The bidding process is complicated by a state law that requires approval by the Environmental Protection Department before the city of Las Vegas can begin work on a new arena.
The NFL, meanwhile, has said it would seek an exemption from that law for any relocation plans.