More evidence of Las Vegas’s emergence as a major league city – a major league sports franchise!
After decades of trying, Las Vegas skated into the major leagues Wednesday with the National Hockey League’s decision to award billionaire businessman Bill Foley an expansion franchise beginning with the 2017-18 season.
This may be just the beginning for Las Vegas.
The NHL’s decision might pave the way for other major pro sports leagues to consider Las Vegas. The NFL’s Raiders already are in discussions to relocate from Oakland, pending approval of a 65,000-seat domed stadium. The NBA, which holds its annual Summer League here, has no plans to expand at this time, but commissioner Adam Silver recently said the league is watching the city’s growth. And Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier this week that Las Vegas could be a viable option for a franchise.
The Las Vegas area, which was little more than a rough desert outpost a little over a century ago, has grown to more than 2 million in population. Many community leaders had been attempting to attract a major sports franchise to the area for several years.
The name for the new expansion franchise has not been chosen but the team will play its home games in the new T-Mobile Arena on the Strip.