LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In just the past five years, Las Vegas has emerged as a real sports city. The city has embraced not one, but three professional sports teams.
The professional sports experiment in Las Vegas has been a big success so far.
The Golden Knights remain one of the hottest tickets in town, and soon the Raiders will follow suit. Not to mention the Las Vegas Aces, who are on the verge of a WNBA championship.
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13 Action News spoke with a couple of experts who say it's only a matter of time before Las Vegas welcomes even more new teams in town, likely an expansion MLB and NBA team.
Las Vegas has been the site of the NBA's summer league since 2008. And late last year, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she spoke with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, just one day after he admitted the league was looking into the idea of expanding.
"There's a lot of conversations about the NBA. There's a lot of conversations about Major League Baseball. Are both of them are looking at us? Yes, they are. Is anything set in stone? Absolutely not," said Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst at Applied Analysis.
Despite that, Aguero says rumblings can quickly become reality. He's seen it happen here twice.
"No longer does speculation never translate into anything that's real. Now, speculation turns into a new $2 billion stadium and arguably the most successful NHL franchise that we've seen over the past couple of years. That's what that speculation means. And so, when people start talking about, 'Hey, maybe a Major League Baseball team would work in Vegas or maybe an NBA team could move to Vegas and make it work,' yeah, all of a sudden, that gets a whole lot more attention from a whole lot more people and it starts to matter," said Aguero.
"I do think MLB is going to come to Vegas. I think it’s not a matter of if, it’s when," said Don Logan, president of the Las Vegas Aviators.
He says when you combine the city's appetite for baseball with millions of fans traveling into town every year, you've got the recipe for a successful MLB expansion team.
"Major League Baseball had stated a couple of years ago that they wanted to expand to 32 teams. They want to have 16 teams in each league. When you play in three-game blocks, like baseball does, you really make it easier for fans of the opposing team to come to town and watch them play," said Logan.
And if you're wondering where we'd build a new baseball stadium, Logan says look no further than a site near the strip.
"I think you’ve got to go fishing where the fish are. We’ve got the best hotels in the world, we’ve got the best dining in the world, we got the best shopping in the world, we’ve got the best gaming in the world, and we have great weather. And the sports teams become an amenity to that. And baseball is and has endured through everything, and because of that, I just think the market is unique and can absorb it," said Logan.
If everyone is so certain that more pro teams are coming to Las Vegas, the question becomes...when? Logan and Aguero say the pandemic probably pushed back any timeline. But as the city continues to make a comeback, so too will the talks about bringing more pro sports teams to Las Vegas.