As the city of Las Vegas moves forward to bringing in the Oakland Athletics, prominent business leaders in the region have now turned their focus to landing an expansion team.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged this year that the process of expanding the size of the league could begin in 2024. Seattle and Las Vegas are at the forefront of potential expansion sites, with the league focused on reaching 32 teams in markets that help revenue grow.
Several hurdles remain before any city has a shot at landing an NBA team. Among them is building an attractive destination to build a stadium and surround it with hotels, entertainment options, restaurants and more. However, it appears Las Vegas could have an early advantage when the time comes for the NBA to seriously weigh expansion.
Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke told Howard Stutz of The Nevada Independent that his company has now budged $10 billion for a potential hotel and entertainment district that could have a stadium to host an NBA expansion team.
As Leiweke explained, the $10 billion in budgeting for an entertainment complex and basketball arena gives the city a distinct advance because it won’t need to ask for taxpayer money.
“It helps when you walk into a room and say to them, ‘I do not need your money,’”Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke
While there’s no timeline for NBA expansion, Las Vegas is widely expected around the league to eventually be awarded a franchise. If that happens, an ownership group would then need approximately $4 billion to cover the NBA expansion fee.
With the success the Vegas Golden Knights have had and the eventual arrival of the Athletics, the city itself could quickly become one of the biggest hubs for professional sports in the United States. By 2028, it’s realistic to think the city could have an NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB franchise. If that happens, it would become the 1he 14th city with teams in all four major pro sports.