It's Vegas or Bust for NHL/NBA/MLS
The backroom deals must be pretty sweet.
Why else would there be a building boom for arenas in Las Vegas?
No one in their right mind -- and, if nothing else, that city has right minds -- would be dumping millions into facilities if the deals hadn't already pencilled.
After all, this isn't St Petersburg. Las Vegas wouldn't make that mistake. Would it?
Not exactly breaking news at this point. There have been so many expansion leaks out of the NHL office that each new denial was a virtual confirmation of another backroom deal laying the groundwork for it.
So if any city has an inside track to the NHL, it's Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, down the block:
Conventional thinking right now is there are three hot candidates for one more expansion franchise, with Minneapolis and Sacramento joining Las Vegas as favorites. Just know each city's officials have yet to be totally sold on the concept.
Still, is geography what's driving this mad rush? The NHL wants a Western team to allegedly accompany expansion to Seattle if and/or when that locale ever gets its act together. The NBA apparently feels mid-sized cities like Portland, Oklahoma City, and Sac-Town are desirable because it's the show.
MLS? Shouldn't it be planting its footprint in the major markets first?
It's the way Bugsy woulda done it, but so far, all this stir does is give leagues more headlines on slow news days. Shovels in the ground or not, Las Vegas at the moment still only has sand, the Strip, and a tiny corporate base, as in every sports franchise's core of season ticket buyers.
And even though smaller metropolitan areas have major pro teams, that may be all it's ever gonna be. Las Vegas still has much to prove.