Is Las Vegas The New Tampa For MLB Owners?

The place to be for disgruntled owners.

In the world of Major League Baseball has Las Vegas become the new Tampa? The owners of the Arizona Diamondbacks apparently were looking at Henderson, which is 16 miles from Las Vegas as a possibility to house the franchise if local politicians and business leaders were able to get a stadium built within town boundaries. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred opened the door for Oakland A’s ownership to move to Las Vegas if Oakland, Alameda County and the A’s ownership could not move ahead on a planned waterfront stadium because of legal squabbles. Whether Las Vegas could support a National Hockey League franchise, a National Football League team, a Major League Baseball squad and entertainment in a rather small market is open to interruption. Las Vegas would be the smallest television market in Major League Baseball with about 766,000 TV homes. The San Francisco-Oakland market is about three times as big and Phoenix is twice as large. Major League Baseball franchises make an enormous amount of money from local cable TV network contracts. Is there enough corporate money in the market for the Vegas Golden Knights, Las Vegas Raiders and a Major League Baseball team? TV and corporate money along with government support are absolute must haves for a sports owner.

Starting in the 1980s, a number of MLB owners began looking for in market new or renovated stadiums or looked at the Tampa market. Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners owners kicked the tires in the Tampa market with Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle owners almost moving to the area. Tampa Bay, with a St. Petersburg stadium, would get an expansion team in 1995 and the team took the field in 1998. Tampa Bay has been a horrible baseball market. The jury is out in Las Vegas.