Major League Baseball is toying with the idea of having an expansion team in Las Vegas, which is something that has residents of the area and some players excited about the possibility of playing in Sin City. While the news won’t have an impact on baseball betting lines, it might in the future if the commissioner decides to award the city a team.
MLB isn’t the only sports league considering having a team in Las Vegas, earlier this year, the Oakland Raiders, who haven’t been able to secure a new stadium in Oakland, said they are seriously considering moving the franchise to Las Vegas.
The NHL recently also announced interest in moving a franchise to Las Vegas or awarding an expansion franchise to the city.
According to the YES Network, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred believes Las Vegas can be a good location for a new team. Manfred said despite Vegas being the most popular gambling destination in the country, he doesn’t see how that would affect having a franchise in the city, and won’t disqualify the city because of the gambling issues.
While the gambling issue is the biggest point detractors bring up when it comes to sports leagues having a team in Las Vegas, another issue Manfred pointed out is the fact that it might be difficult to sustain a viable fan base in Las Vegas.
The reason why franchises like the Raiders aren’t too worried about a fan base in Las Vegas is the fact that Nevada is a very big state with over 3 million people residing in it. Since the state doesn’t have a professional sports team, the leagues should be able to generate enough fan interest to make the move worth it.
The two major cities in Nevada are Las Vegas and Reno, even though they don’t have a professional team in the state, fans flock to watch the state’s collegiate teams like UNLV. The state is also the home of a few Triple A baseball teams and professional athletes like Bryce Harper, Colin Kaepernick, and Kris Bryant are all from Nevada.
Another positive in Nevada’s favor is the fact that both Reno and Las Vegas have major airports that are open 24/7, which means transportation for their teams won’t be a problem should MLB or any other professional league decide to have a team in the state.
Nevada also has a very diverse population, and having a professional team in the state can help baseball reach a larger audience, which is what most sports are about in the first place. Having a team in Vegas will also provide the tourists with something they can do with their whole family, which is something the city doesn’t have enough of.
Another reason why the gambling excuse people give for not wanting a professional team in Las Vegas is the fact they think it can result in games being fixed. The problem with that is the fact that these are professional athletes that are making millions to play a child’s game, so it will be difficult to get them to throw games.
The bottom line here is that Vegas is a very good option for a professional sports team and something that should be seriously considered. Once one league has a team in the city, others will follow.