Las Vegas has become the unlikely – or perhaps the inevitable – center of the sports universe. A city that was once off-limits to any type of professional sport because it allowed gambling has now become a popular destination that hosts the National Football League’s Raiders and the National Hockey League’s Golden Knights.
These two teams have boosted tourism and revenue for Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get the report from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get MGM Resorts International Reportthe two titans of the Las Vegas Strip.
The Golden Knights play 41 home games a year at T-Mobile Arena, which is right on the Strip, within walking distance of several Caesars and MGM properties. Each game drives people to restaurants, casinos and bars, adding to the party atmosphere of Vegas.
NHL games, however, pale in comparison to the massive event that every NFL game provides. The Raiders only play eight home games, making each one a travel opportunity not only for California Raiders fans, but also for people who support opposing teams.
The success of these two teams has led Las Vegas to become a destination for major sporting events. The NFL Draft will take over the city from April 28 and Formula 1 will take over the famous Las Vegas Strip for a race in November 2023.
All of this has made Las Vegas a bargaining chip for teams from the other two major sports leagues, which don’t have a presence in Sin City.
Las Vegas has been a vague destination for any National Basketball Association team negotiating an arena deal with its hometown, but no specific team has emerged as likely to move.
For Major League Baseball, however, the Oakland Athletics have made it clear they are considering a move to Las Vegas, and the team appears to have narrowed its search.
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Oakland’s A’s close to Las Vegas move
At first, the A’s seemed to be using Las Vegas to force Oakland, their current home, to give the team a better deal. That’s what the Raiders did too, but the reality is that a professional sports franchise brings more economic value to Las Vegas than any other city.
Las Vegas has an almost endless number of hotel rooms to fill, and Caesars, MGM and the other casino operators have gambling halls and restaurants that need customers. Professional sports teams fill those hotel rooms, bring people to casinos, and, well, those people need to eat, too.
A baseball team does not create events at the level of NFL games. But the Athletics would play 81 home games a year at a proposed stadium on or near the Las Vegas Strip that could accommodate around 30,000 people. This capacity is smaller than usual for MLB stadiums.
Those tickets might not be as hard to come by as Raiders or even Golden Knights seats, but people on vacation will want to go to the A games and that will be a driving force for the city’s casinos.
The A’s target two sites
While Oakland is reluctant to build a new stadium, the team has focused on Las Vegas. And now the team has clearly turned their sights to the Las Vegas Strip area.
On April 26, A’s president Dave Kaval said the team was considering two sites, one it would develop itself and the other it would build with a major casino operator, the report reported. Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Kaval described the state of negotiations for a report in the newspaper.
“It comes down to a partnership that feels more like a joint venture and a partnership where we’re more on our own, like the Raiders’ approach,” Kaval told the Review-Journal.
“We try to balance the pros and cons of these and come up with something that could be advertised. But we want to be thoughtful because there are a lot of complicated negotiations with something like this and we want to make sure that we respect the time, the intentions and the negotiations with all parties.
The team has artist renderings of its planned billion-dollar stadium, which would have a roof – possibly retractable – to shield patrons from the Las Vegas sun.