Wranglers to meet Wednesday with ECHL to discuss venue options

When the Wranglers were notified in December that their Orleans Arena lease wouldn’t be renewed next season, team president Billy Johnson set Monday as his deadline to secure a new venue for the 11-year-old ECHL franchise.

The actual deadline is Wednesday, when a league meeting will take place in Philadelphia. Johnson said via text message Friday that he expects the ECHL to extend that deadline for Las Vegas, which he said is still considering several options for next season.

“I can say that as I sit here today we have multiple viable options and that it is likely that the ECHL will see its way to give us more time to finalize the best one for the 2014-15 season,” Johnson wrote.

He added the team won’t know how much more time it will be given by the league until Wednesday’s meeting, which will be attended by Wranglers owner Gary Jacobs.

“We’ve got four or five things we’re working on concurrently. The timing is going to be what it’s going to be,” Johnson said Wednesday. “We are moving the ball forward.”

Jacobs has said he’s committed to keeping the Wranglers in Las Vegas.

“Fans don’t need to worry. We’ll be playing Wrangler hockey in Vegas some place next year,” Jacobs said Jan. 3 after a home loss to Ontario.

As to where the Wranglers might play their 36 home games next season — and whether they will play at more than one location — Jacobs and Johnson declined to divulge details.

Johnson ruled out the major arenas in town, such as the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mandalay Bay Events Center and the Thomas &Mack Center.

“The big ones are booked for the fourth quarter of 2014 and first quarter of 2015,” he said.

The team also explored playing at the World Market Center, a vast showroom complex for home furnishings, but the timing wasn’t right.

“They put in a request to use the space, but it’s during a time we run our winter market in January,” WMC director of operations Philip Knott said. “We told them we didn’t have space available. We’d love to help them out.”

The 4,600-seat South Point Arena appeared to be a perfect fit for the Wranglers, but South Point Arena general manager Steve Stallworth said the venue can’t accommodate the team because of scheduling conflicts.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354. Follow him on Twitter: @tdewey33.