Rewind time to ten years ago, and the Las Vegas Aces, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and even the Las Vegas Raiders wouldn't exist. That's right! The city that's now a hub of professional sports used to be relegated to a few minor league teams. Now? Las Vegas' sports world might grow even larger.
"There's a lot of conversations about the NBA. There's a lot of conversations about Major League Baseball. Are both of them looking at us? Yes, they are. Is anything set in stone? Absolutely not," said Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst at Applied Analysis.
Interestingly enough, the Oakland Athletics have expressed interest in moving to Las Vegas after city commissioners denied their proposal for a new stadium in Oakland, creating a scenario where they may be in Sin City by the beginning of 2022. Athletics owner Dave Kaval even tweeted his excitement after taking in a Golden Knights game, pissing off a lot of fans in Oakland.
"We had a great discussion with the A’s management, and we look forward to future talks with the team to showcase the advantages of moving to Southern Nevada," tweeted Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman. Of course, the Oakland Athletics are still set to meet with the state of Oregon about bringing a team there, but who knows if they can wow team brass like Las Vegas did?
What about the NBA, though? That effort is being spearheaded by V. Christopher Lane and 2sixty5media, who announced that they would look into bringing a professional basketball team to Las Vegas. They also claimed they would be meeting with investors about the potential expansion team, and now rumors are flying that an NBA team might be a done deal.
According to Michael Grange of sportsnet.com, "It’s widely believed the NBA will expand for the first time since rounding out to 30 teams in 2004 partly to recoup losses from the pandemic. Returning to Seattle as part of the process is almost a given (with Las Vegas as the other likely city) now that the arena issues that led to the Supersonics leaving for Oklahoma City in 2008 have been resolved."
In the end, both leagues seem relatively close to moving to Vegas, but the MLB plan seems to be slightly more on track. Not only is that evident by the Athletics president enjoying himself at a Golden Knights game, but also due to Oregon having an inferior market to Vegas. When it comes to the NBA however, that will probably happen, just not before the MLB one. There are still too many unknowns around that one, including whether the NBA really wants to expand or not, which will be interesting to watch play out.
Prediction: Las Vegas gets an MLB team first.