Fertitta still interested in an NHL team

Also possibly a WNBA team.

For the second time in more than a month, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has stated his interest in bringing an NHL team to Houston.

Fertitta, in an interview Wednesday on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” was asked about his pursuit of a hockey team as well as a WNBA franchise for Toyota Center.

“We would like to work to get an NHL team in Houston — I’m working on it,” Fertitta said.

Fertitta was asked about the WNBA, which has not had a team in Houston since the Comets’ run from 1997 to 2008, in relation to the surge of interest in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, whose championship game on ABC for the first time drew a bigger TV audience than the men’s final that aired on TBS.

“I would consider, definitely, I think it’s a great topic with women’s sports to talk about a WNBA team in Houston also,” Fertitta said.

As noted in the article, Fertitta was talking about an NHL team in February. It’s the first time I’m aware of that he’s mentioned the WNBA, but that seems to be a matter of timing. If his goal is to make the Toyota Center more active, that would be in line with the vision. Of course, until either the NHL or the WNBA announce a plan to expand (or in the WNBA’s case, a plan that includes Houston as a candidate), this is all just talk. Relocation of an NHL franchise is less likely now, as the main target for such the Arizona Coyotes have now been acquired by a guy who will move them to Salt Lake City. As such, in the absolute best case scenario, we’re at least a few years away. I’ll be waiting to see what happens.

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