Many are speculating in the comments to the Marlins post this morning about where the Marlins might move if Miami falls through. The discussion thus far has focused on Las Vegas, as it often does when new potential Major League cities are mentioned.
For what it’s worth, I’ve often been dubious of Las Vegas as a big league city. Unlike football and boxing, baseball is not driven by big events. There are 10 times as many home games. Season ticket sales matter, and that’s all about attracting the locals who will come on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, not the folks who drive up from L.A. on the weekend. Moreover, you have to ask yourself who would put up the money for a stadium? Not the hotels or gaming companies, brother. Why would they build a place designed to draw upwards of 30-40,000 potential customers away from their casino floors 81 nights a year? The only way they’d even consider it is if you could put slots in the place, and while MLB has gotten more lenient with respect to gambling ties in baseball (e.g. lots of ballparks accept casino advertising now), I really can’t see the masters of the game allowing ballparks to turn into gaming parlors.
Another factor: a disproportionate number of Las Vegas’ working population works nights. The blackjack dealers, the restaurant workers, etc. Sure, many of the potential fans would be tourists, but if you’re going to make a case for Vegas, you’re going to have to make it on the size of the media market, and a big part of that population simply isn’t going to be at home to watch the broadcasts, let alone make it the ballpark.
I’m not saying Las Vegas is a non-starter, but given its unique demographics and economy, there are some major practical hurdles to consider. The solution: I say someone convince Paul Allen to build a stadium in Portland and call it a day.
WhoseWho’s got his number? (Thanks Grammar Police!)