LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The man who owns the Las Vegas Raiders now has aces up his sleeve, the Las Vegas Aces. For the first time, we're hearing from Mark Davis about buying a second team in town.
He held a press conference today and began by explaining why he wanted to get into women's basketball.
"If it was a business decision, right now it would look like a really bad one. It was absolutely the love of the game and the potential for the game," said Davis.
He went on to discuss his big plans for the franchise, starting with giving the Aces a new home in Henderson.
"For some strange reason, right next to the Raiders facility on Raiders Way, an 80,000 square-foot building popped up. So, we have taken that building, we’re going to put the aces in there, with 2 practice courts, full courts, locker rooms, their offices, training rooms, and everything they need to be successful and to say that they’ve got a home here in Las Vegas.
Off the court, Davis says he fully supports the WNBA's strong stance on social issues and ongoing push for equality, even crediting the players with helping to flip the United States Senate.
"I believe the WNBA flipped the senate this year, in Georgia, by using the vote as their weapon, rather than anger or anything else. And there’s so much to learn from how they did that. And when you talk about role models and how society needs to work going forward, there’s so much to learn from," said Davis.
Eventually, Davis says he plans to pay the players more, arguing it’s the best way to grow the game.
"They’re the greatest athletes in the world at what they do and they do deserve it. They just signed a collective bargaining agreement for the next 5 years, which does regulate the salaries and all that. But, I think there’s going to be ways that we can compensate the women for doing things in the community that are so necessary, like going to schools and mentoring kids," said Davis.
Mark Davis doesn't expect the Aces' new practice facility to be finished until March of 2022. As for games, he says the team is contractually obligated to play one more year inside Mandalay Bay's arena. But after that, he says the team will reevaluate all its options.