Houston Rockets owner 'very interested' in bringing NHL team to city
Texas metropolis was home to World Hockey Association's Aeros from 1972-1978
The owner of the NBA's Rockets has expressed interest in bringing an NHL franchise to Houston, but is proceeding cautiously.
Tilman Fertitta posted on his verified Twitter account Thursday that he would be open to the possibility of acquiring an NHL team, but stressed it must be a deal that works for all parties concerned.
"As I've mentioned before, I'm very interested in the possibility of bringing the NHL to Houston, but it will have to be a deal that works for my organization, the city, fans of the NHL throughout the region and the NHL Board of Governors," said Fertitta, who bought the Rockets in September. "We are in the early stages of evaluating what opportunities may exist but look forward to a thorough process."
Fertitta's post comes a day after reports said Fertitta and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman have met to discuss the viability of Houston as an NHL city.
The Texas metropolis has never had an NHL team, but it does have a hockey legacy. The World Hockey Association's Aeros called Houston home from 1972-1978. The legendary Gordie Howe played four seasons with the Aeros along with sons Mark and Marty.
An American Hockey League team, also called the Aeros, played in Houston from 1994-2013 before moving to Des Moines, Iowa.
Quebec City and Seattle have also expressed interest in acquiring an NHL team through expansion or relocation.