LAS VEGAS (CBS13) – After the Maloofs (finally) sold the Sacramento Kings to Vivek Ranadive in 2013 many fans didn’t give another thought to what the family did.
You might be surprised to know the Maloofs are minority owners of the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team. The same hockey team going to the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season.
The Maloofs own a 15% stake in the Golden Knights. They often go to games at T-Mobile Arena on the Strip, but watch from a box- not on the glass.
Gavin Maloof appeared on CBSN’s “Reiter’s Block” Tuesday to discuss the Golden Knights surprising success.
“It’s a dream come true for us, for our organization, for Bill Foley (majority owner). George McPhee (General Manager) has done a tremendous job of putting this team together. The entire city is going bonkers.”
Bill Reiter: “When you guys bought your stake in the Golden Knights, I know you were involved very early on trying to bring hockey to Vegas, what were the actual expectations for this team, this season? How are you guys going to judge a success story?” Gavin Maloof: “My brother Joe and I went and saw Gary Bettman (Commissioner), who had the courage to put the team in Las Vegas, right when we were selling the Kings. We came up with the idea- why not put an expansion team in Las Vegas? Gary didn’t say yes, but he didn’t say no. One thing led to another and we met Bill and put this whole thing together. It took us about four years. Honestly, I knew it would be successful early on just because it’s a new franchise, but I really didn’t envision the winning success we’ve had on the ice. That’s attributed to George McPhee, the General Manager.”
Bill Reiter: “How important do you think this team has been to just changing the idea of Vegas’s relationship with professional sports?” Gavin Maloof: “We’ve always been a believer in professional sports in Las Vegas. Many people have tried to bring professional sports to Vegas and none have ever accomplished that. But we’ve always been a believer, even when we owned the Kings, and now with this team and the success they’re having, and of course the Raiders coming to Las Vegas, it’s really becoming- it’s a city now. It’s a city that has a soul. Everyone is so engaged in this team. It’s one of the greatest sports stories, if not the greatest sports story, of all time. To take an expansion team and go to the Stanley Cup Finals- it’s never been done.”
Bill Reiter: “At what point this season did you look at this team and allow yourself to say, even privately, ‘Man, we might have a legit contender here?'” Gavin Maloof: “If I’m honest I thought we’d win about 20 games this year. Look at the history. there’s no expansion team that’s probably ever won more than 20 games in any sport- football, basketball, baseball, hockey. So we are in uncharted waters. So for this team to be doing what it’s doing? I probably thought we had a good chance probably mid-season when we kept winning and beating great teams and it wasn’t all of a sudden a fluke. This team was for real.”
The Maloofs owned the Kings from 1998-2013.