LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A Metro Councilman says "icing" the KFC Yum! Center could be a financial gain.
Councilman Scott Reed says Louisville and the KFC Yum! Center would be a perfect fit for a National Hockey League expansion team.
Reed mentioned his idea in a meeting of the Metro Council's Republican Caucus and there is no indication he has actually reached out to the NHL to pursue it. A call to a NHL spokesman for comment has yet to be returned.
Reed says a hockey team would create less conflict with the U of L basketball schedules than an NBA team because of the way the NHL schedule is set up. The NHL plays 82 games a year, 41 of them at home, not counting any pre-season or playoff games.
The NHL had Louisville on its radar in 2015 when the city came up in a fan survey of possible expansion cities. The league eventually awarded an expansion franchise to Las Vegas and the team will begin play this season.
The arena has never hosted a hockey game and does not have a built-in ice floor system. A KFC Yum! Center spokesperson says the arena uses a temporary ice floor system when acts such as Disney On Ice come to town.
If Louisville were to get a team, it would be the fourth Midwestern market in the league joining hockey markets in Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio.
Louisville has been home to six minor league franchises dating back to the 1950's, the last being the Louisville Panthers who played at Freedom Hall from 1999 to 2001.