As the NHL looks to expand into Las Vegas with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders potentially following suit, it seems more than reasonable that the nation’s gambling mecca will have multiple professional sports teams in the not-so-distant future.
It’s an amazing realization to come to. As much as these leagues have pushed back against legal gambling, it seems they are more than willing to chow down on a piece of this rather large financial pie.
Someone who hasn’t necessarily been opposed to the idea of gambling taking up residence in sports is NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, a true forward-thinking man if there ever was one.
While indicating that the NBA isn’t necessarily looking at expansion any time soon, Silver did admit that he’s keeping his eye out on the situation in Las Vegas.
“I am keeping a close eye on it (Vegas). It’s a market that we’ve been playing our summer league in for at least the last 10 years, so we’ve been there every July. I’ve been to the new arena that AEG just built there. I think it’s a great market,” Silver said, via The Dan Patrick Show. “We’re not in expansion mode, so it’s not something that we’re even thinking about right now. But based on what I’ve read the NHL is on their way, and even our old owners the Maloofs (Sacramento Kings) seem to be involved. I know the people of Vegas love their sports.”
There shouldn’t be a whole lot that surprises us as it relates to these comments. Silver has always maintained a keen sense for what’s best for the Association. And in reality, the NBA’s Summer League has been a smashing success in Vegas.
If it’s financially doable at any point in the near future, the league would be smart to add a team in Vegas.
It’s one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States and has a wealth of money flying around that’s nearly unmatched in any other metropolitan area outside of the two largest media markets in Los Angeles and New York.
The first domino to fall here might be the NHL. Once that happens, there’s a decent chance the Raiders and owner Mark Davis will then jump on this new opportunity. And who knows, maybe the NBA will follow in line.