Will Las Vegas Host the Next NBA Team?
Even though there is online sports betting in Delaware and elsewhere in the States, Las Vegas is known for being the Mecca of gambling, and there isn’t a question about it.
However, the aspirations of the Sin City go even beyond that. In a city where competitive spirit is nurtured and seen as a part of the culture, having a successful professional sports team is the next big step.
For years, Las Vegas has been coaxing professional teams from all major leagues to relocate to Vegas and has already managed to sign an NFL team from Oakland, the Oakland Raiders, which will be renamed to Las Vegas Raiders starting 2020 season. Another successful sports story is that of the Vegas Golden Knights, Las Vegas’s own NHL team that reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their first year of NHL campaign, which is regarded as one of the most significant sports feats in recent years.
However, the missing crown jewel that would turn Las Vegas into a real sports hub is an NBA franchise. NBA is the world’s greatest basketball competition with top talent and organizations that push the limits of basketball imagination and is exactly what Las Vegas needs. But is it possible?
Read on to find out our take on the future of Las Vegas and the NBA.
The NBA Summer League is Already in Vegas
A significant plus in Vegas’s campaign to get an NBA team is the presence of the league’s Summer League edition. The NBA Summer League has been played since 2004, and Las Vegas has hosted all the games. In the latest edition of the competition, all 30 NBA teams had their teams represented by their young talents, plus two international teams from China and Croatia.
Fans from all around Vegas flocked to MGM Resorts this year to see new talents and the number 1 overall pick, Zion Williams from New Orleans, and marvel at his athleticism and spectacular dunks. The NBA Summer League matches account for some 30,000 nights at hotels sold for die heart fans of basketball.
Having an NBA team is not only about economics and financial aspects, but it’s also about the infrastructure and, most importantly, fans. All these criteria have been met by the city of Vegas long ago, making the decision entirely up to the NBA officials.
So, What Do NBA Officials Say?
At the beginning of the NBA Summer League, the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that it was clear that the city of Vegas and its fans love the game, but that the league was not considering any expansion of the association or relocation of existing teams. Their current business plan and model are focused on improving the current state of the game and the overall performance of the existing 30 teams.
However, as more and more marquee NBA events find their way to the Strip, it is only natural to think that, for any future expansion that finds its way on the NBA officials agenda, Las Vegas, alongside Seattle and Canada’s Vancouver or Montreal, will top the list.