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A season ticket drive is underway to try to gauge if there is enough interest in Las Vegas to support an NHL team

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Las Vegas appears well on its way to showing the NHL that it deserves an expansion team.

Less than 48 hours into its season-ticket drive, Hockey Vision Las Vegas says it is already halfway to the goal of 10,000 deposits.

"We are off to a great start," prospective owner Bill Foley said in a statement. "It is our hope that the Las Vegas community will continue to rally around this incredible initiative. We've seen an outpouring of support, and we know Southern Nevadans will continue to place deposits to help us demonstrate that Las Vegas can support its first major-league sports franchise."

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The VegasWantsHockey season-ticket drive got under way Tuesday afternoon, with commissioner Gary Bettman in town to tour the arena that will be complete next spring and to address reporters at a news conference.

"This is a journey with many stops on the road," Bettman said. "I think you want to know early if this is a dream worth chasing."

Getting 10,000 full-season-ticket deposits does not guarantee an NHL franchise, but if this trend continues, Foley and his fellow owners will have a strong case to make about getting a team for the 2016-17 season.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said at all-star weekend last month that the league would know early in the process if the season-ticket drive was going to be a success. Daly declined comment Thursday via email when asked about the Hockey Vision Las Vegas announcement.

The company said in a statement that seats in all sections at price levels are being reserved. Deposits range from US$150 to $900 with commitments of one, three, five or 10 years available depending on the section.

Deposits are 10 per cent of the cost of tickets and are refundable if Las Vegas does not have a team for the 2016-17 NHL season.

With files from the Associated Press

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