Photo of the Las Vegas, Nevada downtown skyline.

Image Credit: Douglas Muth (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Now that Las Vegas, Nevada has secured both an NHL and NFL franchise for the city, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has announced that the league is keeping an eye on the Las Vegas market. Assuming one of the 30 Major League Baseball teams begins to struggle financially, Manfred thinks Las Vegas would be the perfect city for a team that pursues relocation.

For many years, professional sports organizations have shunned Las Vegas due to the gambling culture in the city. The nightlife was also seen as a distraction for players. The Las Vegas 51s, a minor league baseball team and affiliate of the New York Mets, have played in Las Vegas since 1983. However, in this modern age of technology, anyone can gamble virtually anywhere they want anyway. According to Manfred, Major League Baseball is currently reexamining it’s stance on sports gambling.

Both the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays are struggling to secure deals for new ballparks in their cities. Neither city seems to have the urgency to allow public taxpayer dollars to be spent on new stadiums. The Las Vegas Raiders home stadium will be finished in 2020. The Vegas Golden Knights home arena, T-Mobile Arena, is already standing and is located off of the famous Las Vegas strip.

Many critics suggest that Las Vegas doesn’t have a large enough population, corporate presence or television market for three professional sports teams to thrive. Only time will tell whether those critics are correct. However, Las Vegas will certainly become a favorite destination for sports fans of other visiting teams in the meantime.




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