It seems as though just about every off season in every league, the idea of moving a team comes to the forefront. Whether it’s a new NHL team, the relocation of an NBA team or moving an NFL team, Las Vegas almost always appears to be in contention. However, without fail, every single year, it doesn’t happen, and Vegas remains one of the most popular cities in the country without a professional sports franchise. Here are a few reasons why not only hasn’t it happened in the past, but why it will never happen in the future.
4. Stadium Location
Las Vegas is an interesting place because almost everything in the city occurs on one street. But what’s weird about the people of Vegas is that, Las Vegas Blvd. is the one place they DON’T want to go. Obviously, a new franchise moving to the city would want their stadium in the epicenter of the town which means somewhere either on Las Vegas Blvd. or within a few miles. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the mounds of tourists that would be needed to fill the stadium. But what’s the other option? The Henderson Hornets? The Sumerlin Coyotes? Don’t think so.
3. 2007 NBA All Star Game
Seven years ago the NBA decided they would give Las Vegas a shot and awarded it All Star weekend. What followed was, to be frank, an unmitigated disaster. 403 arrests, four separate shooting incidents, and one Adam “PacMan” Jones. The NBA got a quick taste of what occurs when its players and fans take over a city known for sin. Now, the NBA has to be terrified of what will happen if they even think about coming back, and don’t think the other three sports didn’t take notice as well.
2. Lack of True Natives
If you ask someone from Las Vegas where they are from, you’ll almost always get a response of somewhere other than Vegas. It’s not because people who live in Vegas aren’t proud, it’s because they aren’t really from Las Vegas. Most locals are from somewhere else in the country, places like the east coast, Chicago, or Los Angeles. This poses a major problem for expected support of a new franchise. In all four major sports, Vegas is a melting pot of fandom, but there’s certainly not a yearning for a team to cheer for. Everyone has their favorite, and odds are they won’t instantly fall in love with their new “hometown” team.
1. Professional Sports Leagues Fear Gambling
For better or for worse all four of the professional leagues have a poor taste in their mouths about sports gambling. Even though the facts are clear that gambling is a large driving force behind the popularity of many sports, each of the major sports seem scared of getting to close to it. By coming to Las Vegas, a league would have to answer questions about the effects of gambling on the league, something they don’t want to do. Obviously they don’t want players gambling on the games, but the reasoning behind the fear of fan involvement is relatively unclear. Nonetheless, the terror exists, and until one of the leagues decides to change, Las Vegas will always be seen as poisonous.