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Rumors of potential NBA expansion in Las Vegas persist despite Commissioner Adam Silver's denial

Posted at 10:57 AM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 13:57:05-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV)  — Las Vegas is a growing sports city, between the Golden Knights, the Raiders, a successful WNBA team in the Aces, and rumors that we're on deck for a professional baseball team.

But does Las Vegas' future as the "sports and entertainment capital of the world" include an NBA team?

"It would be great to get another professional sport," one fan at the Aces game on Sunday told us. "Every sport we've brought out here, it's brought out more of a Vegas pride from people that live here."

It's long been rumored that Vegas is a top contender for an NBA expansion team, along with Seattle.

READ: Could Las Vegas support an NBA team?

AJ Perez with Front Office Sports says Vegas sports are not what they used to be.

"Really, what changed over the last couple of years, first, was the Golden Knights' success," Perez said. "I think the NBA and all the other leagues took how well that team did."

In the past, there has been a tumultuous relationship with the City of Las Vegas and the NBA. Former Mayor Oscar Goodman said "no" to the NBA following a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip after the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. His wife, the current mayor, has a different idea.

"I really do believe NBA will be among the next," Mayor Carolyn Goodman previously told 13 Action News. "We certainly have the WNBA, that was why that was there, a sort of 'let's see how they do,' and they've done remarkably well."

A CLOSER LOOK: The Goodmans' fight to bring professional sports to Las Vegas

But is there any truth to the rumors that Las Vegas is a top contender for an NBA expansion?

"Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, said the other day that the rumors that they will be expanding and putting teams in those two cities (Las Vegas and Seattle) was not true — but there will be an expansion," Perez said.

Either way, loyal sports fans say they're ready to welcome another professional team.

"It's the entertainment capital of the world, so Vegas would be the only option," said one Aces fan.

"It's got to be Vegas. Everybody comes to Vegas," said another fan. "I think, on top of everything else, it's a great destination. You have great local fans, but also everybody who's willing to travel here."

Las Vegas is already the starting point for Team USA basketball teams. They practice at the Thomas & Mack Center.