A New MLB Team in Las Vegas?

Updated Tuesday 11th October 2016, 03:33 PM

Though it may seem unlikely, a professional baseball team may soon call Las Vegas its home. Vegas is commonly viewed as a gambling city and a home for sports betting in the US, which means there are plenty of sports fans who could quickly form a loyal fan base if a team were to move there. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred recently dismissed the presence of the casinos as an issue, so clearly he’s considering this as a viable option for a baseball team in either of the major leagues.

The NHL, NFL, and NBA have also recently expressed interest in moving to Sin City. The NBA holds its annual summer league in Las Vegas and has experienced much success with that model. Manfred also mentioned that Montreal and Mexico City could be possible locations for teams to move to, but Major League Baseball hasn’t had a franchise move since 1998.

For the NFL, the Raiders appear to be the frontrunners for a move to Vegas, should such an opportunity materialize. In September, the Nevada Oversight Committee confirmed $750 million in public funding for a new stadium for the Raiders. Though the San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles (previously St. Louis) Rams have also expressed interest in moving to Vegas, the Raiders - who could quickly become the Vegas Raiders - have surprisingly won that bid unanimously. The raising of the hotel tax in Las Vegas greatly contributed to the Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee’s ability to fund this project. Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, contributed $650 million himself, and the Raiders organization also gave $500 million.

It’s not easy to move an NFL team, but the next step is to convince Brian Sandoval, the governor of Las Vegas, that this is the best decision for everybody. The Raiders need Sandoval to call lawmakers together to discuss this project before it can move any further. Such a meeting doesn’t have a set date, but proponents of the move want it done soon. If it can be accomplished before January, they'll be able to make a presentation at the owners meeting.  Finally, if said presentation goes over well among the owners, a relocation vote would be taken.

If the governor approves the move, it still has to clear Nevada state legislature before the owners can decide whether or not they agree. Then, 75% of the NFL owners would have to vote in favor of the Raiders moving to Vegas. Though this may seem difficult, the support of influential owners like Robert Craft (Patriots) and Jerry Jones (Cowboys) could sway the others’ opinions towards making the move. The eagerness of the NFL, NHL and the NBA to make a move to Vegas should prove that MLB might have a very successful future there as well.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 October 2016 03:33:16+00:00
Published By Sports.net

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