The Las Vegas strip is world-famous and fabulous, there is even a sign that tells you so. Vegas is tourist town, bright lights, big stars, yet it lacks one major thing. A professional sports team or two. If Las Vegas can bring in Brittany Spears it can handle a few professional athletes.
Sports and Vegas go had in hand. Vegas makes the lines on games and then takes your money, it is like going to a Houston Astros game. You are just throwing your money away. Are the NFL, NBA, or the NHL (is that really even still around?)afraid of athletes gambling? Are they afraid athletes are going to go to the club and get to drunk? Go to the club and hook up too much? News flash leagues your product does that already, all over the United States. Take Kobe Bryant for example, he went to Colorado for his strange. The Vegas environment will do little to sway how these men are going to act, no matter what city they are in. The NBA held its 2007 All-Star game in Vegas, and guess what NFL, NHL, and NBA the athletes behaved. Now the fans, that is another story, but fans do strange and moronic things anywhere it seems now.
Financial backing for teams will not be hard to come by. There is already the Olympia Group that is in place. They have put together an arena plan in place. The arena’s location would be Las Vegas Boulevard and Cactus Ave. The $600 million arena would seat 20,000 and be home to and NBA or even possible NHL team. It is a 240 acre plot of land that has endless possibilities. There are hurdles though. The location is several miles from the Vegas strip and downtown. The proposal itself has lost steam as there is a bombardment of arena proposals hitting the Vegas city council office. As for bringing in a NFL team, they could use UNLV’s stadium and facilities while one is being built.
The question remains why hasn’t Vegas locked down a pro sports team? They have a television market bigger than Oklahoma City, Buffalo, Memphis, New Orleans, and Jacksonville. Two NBA cities, one NFL city, and two that are duo sport cities. Vegas is the 28th most populated city in the United States, larger than 16 other professional cities. It meets the criteria for each league to acquire a sports franchise, yet Vegas is still without.
The answer to the question is simple, image. Vegas has an image. The is the cult motto “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” The Vegas image is hindering the process of acquiring a franchise. Leagues are afraid of rich men, especially rich young men being in an environment like Vegas. This thought process may have been true years ago, but with culture changing, and the advent of social media and the internet no place is safe for athletes.
Vegas can handle a sports franchise. The city has made strides to be family friendly, a full family destination. If Vegas can make itself a family destination it can make itself a home to professional sports. By Steve Kish