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Friday, December 12, 2008
Muera Las Vegas!Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal polled a handful of Winter Meetings attendees about the viability of major league baseball in Sin City:
But even though Major League Baseball isn't coming to the valley anytime soon, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be here. Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo, who was in town this week covering baseball's winter meetings at the Bellagio, is all for a franchise in Southern Nevada.
My long-held position on this is that the big leagues in Vegas is a dicey proposition even in the best of times for the city and the nation as a whole. Unlike football and boxing, baseball is not driven by big events. There are 10 times as many home games. Getting people to show up in numbers to 81 games is going to require attracting the locals who will come on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, not the folks who drive up from L.A. on the weekend. And remember, a healthy portion of the locals work nights in the gaming, restaurant, and entertainment industry. Who's going to a midweek Vegas-Oakland game in April?
Even if you get past that, I think you have a problem with the casinos. No, not because baseball is historically wary of gambling. The presence of the Winter Meetings there -- not to mention the common sight of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods ads in east coast stadiums -- puts lie to that old concern. No, the bigger problem with the casinos is that they have no incentive whatsoever to play ball with baseball. Think about it: why would Mandalay Bay want to encourage its patrons to leave the gaming floor and go to a ballpark between, say, 6:30PM and 10:30PM each night? Hell, the reason they have cocktail waitresses and comped drinks is that they don't even want you to get up to walk to a bar during those times.
Bringing major league professional sports to Las Vegas would, by definition, bring in competition for existing entertainment dollars, and I can't see how roadblock after roadblock wouldn't be thrown up by the gaming and hotel interests.
(special thanks to Keith Law for helping me figure out that "muera" is the opposite of "viva." Keep your eye on that guy. I think he may just make it in this business)
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 1:15pm
All these sportswriters lobbying for Vegas kinda reek of “gee, it would be great to have to go to Vegas for my job three times a year” boosterism.
Self-interest is a powerful motivator.
Posted 12/12 at 03:09 PM
Cany anyone imagine what the Vegas baseball team would be named? Would it deal with gambling? The mob? Pacman Jones? Legalized prostitution?
Speaking of, would the infamous Bunny Ranch have some give-away nights? I think there’s some solid entertainment in the Vegas baseball idea.
Posted 12/12 at 04:52 PM
smsetnor, the Bunny Ranch, infamous mostly for it’s owner (the Scott Boras of his chosen sport), is not located in or near Vegas, but outside Carson City, NV, @ 420 miles away.
Incidentally, A Bunny Ranch bartender once swore to me he’d seen a well-known Diamondback in the parlor, not long after the 2001 World Series.
Why was I there? Uh…. mistook it for a filling station, and just stopped in to get my tires rotated?
Posted 12/12 at 06:10 PM
If baseball is going to expand by two teams to create equal leagues (makes sense, doesn’t it?), I’d much rather see teams in Portland and Mexico City, but I know economic viability isn’t great anywhere right now.
Posted 12/12 at 06:28 PM