Mayor Oscar Goodman wants an NBA team in Vegas really bad. This has been an on going idea/plan for years now and it took a step in the right direction this week. In his weekly press conference, a hopefully sober Mayor Goodman announced plans to have the Las Vegas City Council look at an exclusive contract with the Baltimore based real estate developers The Cordish Companies. The contract would have give the Cordish Companies exclusive rights to study the feasibility of this 18-acre project. The Cordish Companies past work includes The Walk in Atlantic City, Ballpark Village in St. Louis and the Power and Light District in Kansas City, Mo.
This is all fine and dandy, but lets be honest here, this is nothing more than Vegas giving someone exclusive rights to STUDY a possible sports venue. Goodman said he really wants a basketball team because that’s the sport he loves. Time out. When did his best interest become the cities best interest? For me, I would love to have any professional sports team to root for here in Sin City albeit an MLS team or an NHL team. I could get on board with that easily since all we have right now are the minor league teams The Las Vegas Wranglers (hockey) and the Las Vegas 51’s (Triple A for the Blue Jays). Don’t paint me a hater on those teams though, they have phenomenal $1 beer nights, but there is something about having a professional hometown team that just sparks the interest. The mentality that Oscar Goodman has taken on is “if we build it, they will come”. During his press conference, Goodman said he has been working hard to get NBA officials and owners interested in the idea saying:
“I believe as soon as we have an arena — this is my belief, I have nothing that
is signed in blood, there’s no contract — but I believe we’ll have a team”
Yikes. What happens when/if we build this arena and no one is interested? What happens if funding falls out like so many of the partially completed hotel/casinos we have to look at on a daily basis? Do the city you represent a favor and get the TEAM before you build the Arena. If we can lock down a team, they can play in the 19,000 seat Thomas & Mack Center while their arena is constructed. In these economic times it seems a little irresponsible to spend money to build something in hopes of attracting a tenant. On a final note, if you are contracting someone to do a study on the arena, can you also contract someone to do a study on the traffic created? Maybe have the roads and lanes created before the arena is done so we aren’t sitting in traffic even more than we are now. Thanks Oscar, have another one on Thunder Treats. Scotch, right?
source: Las Vegas Sun