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Las Vegas Mayor Certain NBA Expansion Franchise is Headed to The Strip - Newstbt.com

Tiffany Burroughs
Updated: 5 August 2023
5 min to read

After earning the Stanley Cup, the next goal for the people of Las Vegas is to acquire an NBA team. Mayor Carolyn Goodman is confident that it is only a matter of time before the NBA will expand its league and welcome Las Vegas. She declared to Casino.org that it is only a matter of time before there is an NBA expansion franchise in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas already has two teams in two of the four major professional sports leagues–the Vegas Golden Knights in the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Las Vegas Raiders in the National Football League (NFL). Now, Mayor Caroline Goodman is eagerly anticipating the addition of the 30th franchise of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to complete the major sports quartet. Goodman has been making it known that she believes Las Vegas is next in line for an NBA team, and she thinks the successful launch of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 certainly did not hurt their chances. With NBA Commissioner Adam Silver having not added a new team in seven years, Las Vegas seems poised for a strong opportunity. “Has Adam Silver told you how often he hears from Mayor Caroline Goodman and her predecessor, Oscar Goodman, bending his ear on when Las Vegas is going to get a team?” Goodman said. “He’ll tell you, ‘Yes, I hear from them. Yes, I see them.’ We are adamant––adamant that we’re next,” she continued, “It’s not if, but when.” The timing for Las Vegas may never be better. With the successful launch of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 and now the Raiders, the addition of an NBA franchise would round out the four major professional sports leagues for the desert city. The last NBA expansion was in 2004, so Las Vegas could be in the driver’s seat in the coming years.

The Time is Now

“The enthusiasm and commitment of Mayor Goodman, her administration and the people of Las Vegas regarding the NBA has been outstanding.

Mayor Goodman, who succeeded her husband Oscar as the mayor of Las Vegas 12 years ago, believes the time has arrived. Silver declared during the NBA Finals that negotiations on any expansion would not start until a new television package is agreed upon, which is anticipated to take place in the spring but that is too late for Goodman, who was quoted by Casino.org as saying “He’s wasting time because we are electrified here. It’s the perfect time for a franchise to come here. Our (NBA) summer league has earned itself recognition. Even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone couldn’t wait to get back for the entertainment, food and more. Now, the major-league sports world recognises us internationally.” Mike Bass, a spokesperson from the NBA, praised Las Vegas while speaking to Casino.org, confirming Goodman has urged Silver to have an NBA team in Vegas. He added: “The enthusiasm and dedication of Mayor Goodman, her administration and the people in Las Vegas towards the NBA has been phenomenal.”

The Las Vegas basketball market is terrific, but the city isn’t currently looking to expand. This comes in the wake of the Las Vegas Golden Knights’ hockey success; in their six seasons, they’ve made the Stanley Cup finals twice and just secured the title Tuesday against the Florida Panthers. To celebrate, the city is planning a massive parade on the world-famous Strip this Saturday – a huge moment for the city and an opportunity to show their light to the world. As Mayor Goodman stated, “The glow from Las Vegas is as high as can be – they can see us in Japan, China, Alaska, and Greenland. Around the world, they are saying, ‘What is that brilliant light coming out of the Southwest of the USA.’ We are hot.” It’s definitely a time of changing times in Las Vegas.

Changing Times

After David Stern, the then Commissioner of the NBA, declared that he would never approve an expansion team to Las Vegas as long as sports betting remained in the city, the chances of it happening cooled even more due to the All Star Game in Vegas in 2007. This event ended with hundreds of people being arrested, Tommy Urbanski, a bouncer at the Minxx Gentleman’s Club, being shot and paralyzed from the waist down allegedly by a member of the entourage of former NFL star “Pacman” Jones and traffic delays from The Strip to the Thomas Mack center that lasted 90 minutes. However, now there is a new Commissioner, Adam Silver, and a new arena on The Strip, namely the T-Mobile Center, that the Las Vegas Golden Knights have made their home.

Mayor Goodman asserted that the recession in 2008 caused the expansion of Vegas to become an inactive issue more than the 2007 shootings, and pointed out that Adam Silver, in contrast to David Stern, has supported legalized sports betting for many years. He went on to talk about the incredible success of the Golden Knights and Las Vegas Raiders, saying that from having no sports teams, now they are making attempts to draw in a Major League Soccer team. Goodman pointed out that since David Stern became Commissioner in 2014, Adam Silver had already been mentored and he and Goodman have met in New York, at All-Star Games and in New Orleans, creating a long-standing relationship. He concluded that the city’s appeal and success have been remarkable over the last 24 years.

Vegas Success, Appeal

Mayor Goodman, a sports enthusiast since her youth in New York, had fond memories of attending Yankees games in the 1950s as well as Rangers, Knicks and Globetrotters games at the old Madison Square Garden, and Columbia-Cornell football games. Although the construction of a new A’s stadium is still facing a few obstacles and is currently up to the governor to decide, Goodman believes that getting an NBA franchise in Las Vegas would be ideal due to the large amount of global viewers and the success of the annual NBA Summer League that brings all 30 teams to compete with their up-and-coming prospects for two weeks in July. She enthusiastically adds, “Vegas has 40 million visitors a year, so they would need somewhere to sleep, right? Our city offers 150,000 hotel rooms within 20 minutes from the airport, and we have plenty of direct flights coming in from all over the world–very few cities who don’t have an NBA team can compete with that.”

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Updated: 5 August 2023
5 min to read

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