Vegas could clinch every major pro sports league
With Las Vegas becoming a hotbed of professional sports activity in recent years, a potential newcomer to the market envisions every league calling Las Vegas at some point.
In just a few years, Las Vegas has gone from zero professional sports teams to having the NHL’s Golden Knights, NFL’s Raiders, and WNBA’s Aces playing at home within miles of each other. Add to that the NBA’s longstanding interest in the area, with Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics eyeing the Valley for a possible relocation and news of a possible Major League Soccer team heating up last week, and it’s obvious that all eyes are on Las Vegas.
Wes Edens, part of the ownership group that struck an exclusive negotiation deal with MLS in hopes of securing an expansion franchise in Las Vegas, said the sky was the limit for professional sports in Las Vegas. He is also part owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and was part of the group that landed the team in a new arena and helped them win their first NBA championship since 1974.
“I believe every major sport will be in Las Vegas at some point in the future, really,” Edens told the Review-Journal last week. “I think baseball, basketball and football, I think they’ll all have homes in Las Vegas in the long term, or maybe not that long.”
While many skeptics believed a market the size of Las Vegas could only support one major professional sports team, let alone many, Edens said the success of what was apparently the league least likely to succeeding in the desert provided proof that Southern Nevada can sustain any league.
“I think hockey was the most unlikely to be first,” Edens said. “Look out the window in Las Vegas, there’s not a lot of hockey going on right now. The success he had really opened the eyes of people around him. Football, given its fairly limited home schedule, might have been the most intuitive; they were a huge hit.
With the ever-growing Las Vegas Valley approaching a population of 3 million and the high number of visitors, Edens believes the recipe for success is a mix of local fans and out-of-towners.
“The draw of Las Vegas is not just local appeal, as one of America’s fastest growing cities…but it also has a massive tourist population,” Edens said. “It will probably be a venue for all major sports.”
Jeremy Aguero, director of operations and analysis for the Raiders, also believes that all the leagues could end up in the southern Nevada desert, but warned that it is not certain that they will succeed if they try. simply to follow the plan of the first two major professional sports teams in the valley. .
“Football is different from baseball, baseball is different from basketball,” Aguero said. “If you think people can just replicate what the Raiders did, what the Golden Knights did, or what the Aces did, no, I don’t think that’s easy to do.”
Aguero said there was no cookie-cutter plan that other teams could follow to ensure success in Las Vegas. But he firmly believes that the region has not finished enriching its professional sports repertoire.
“I think there are all kinds of opportunities for additional events and additional leagues to exist here,” Aguero said. “It just has to be the right formula for it to work.”