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Could Las Vegas support an NBA team?

Posted at 6:55 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-09 14:38:47-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The NHL, the NFL, the WNBA and now, maybe, the NBA? Expansion talks in NBA circles are focusing on Las Vegas as one of the cities as a possible spot for a new team.

Las Vegas is no stranger to NBA basketball with summer league games in the past attracting crowds. But could we see an actual team playing here?

ESPN reports talk of expansion in the NBA, with Seattle and Las Vegas as potential spots for new teams.

“There’s no question in my mind that the NBA will eventually end up in Vegas,” said local sports radio host TC Martin.

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He says the city is a prime target for the NBA and points to the WNBA team, the Aces, as a prime example. A potential stepping stone for the league.

“That has worked remarkably well with the attendance at the Mandalay Bay and the success the Aces have had,” he said.

Getting a team won’t be cheap. ESPN reports it will take a $2.5 billion expansion fee for a new team.

“That is one of the highest fees you’ll see in modern-day sports," he said. "But as you know, if you want a team bad enough, you’ll find someone who will come up with the money."

If Las Vegas does get a team, will there enough of a fan base with the Vegas Golden Knights and Raiders also in town?

“People will pay. People will go," said Las Vegas resident Demaris Swails. "They want to see their favorite NBA teams. They’re going to come."

“It’s going to help diversify, fill those hotel rooms and keeps things going on the Strip,” said Patrick Ryan, who also lives in Las Vegas.

Martin says he believes there is room for NBA basketball.

“So as far as population, we checked the box there," said Martin. "With the success we've had with the Vegas Golden Knights and the NHL, you check the box there."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in his latest press call hasn’t yet fully committed to expanding the league.

Martin believes Seattle will get first dibs on a new team.