Is The Las Vegas Market Big Enough For More Teams?

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) scrambles away from Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

MLB could allow John Fisher to take his Oakland team to Las Vegas while there is interest to put an NBA team in Las Vegas.

Is the Las Vegas metropolitan area a multi-sport market? That question may be answered within the next few years. Las Vegas hosts a National Hockey League franchise and a National Football League franchise. In addition Formula One racing will be holding annual events in the city starting in 2024. But there is a question. Can the market host an NHL team, an NFL franchise, two minor league teams and a WNBA team and two other leagues that could bring another 123 games to the area? Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher is about ready to transfer his business to Las Vegas and there is a proposal from the Oak View Group that would include an arena for a National Basketball Association squad in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is a small TV market. The NHL’s Golden Knights franchise has split from its cable partner AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain as Warner Brothers Discovery is folding the business. The team has a new local deal with Scripps Sports with the games on over-the-air TV not only in Las Vegas but in Idaho, Montana, Reno, Nevada, Salt Lake City, Utah and Wyoming. No details have been released on the TV deal’s value but it figures to be much less than the cable deal. The NFL Raiders front office has no such worries as NFL TV money is divided equally by the 32 teams. But TV money matters and it could be a problem for Fisher’s Athletics and an NBA team. Fisher’s business is counting on 5,000 tourists showing up at every home game. That probably isn’t happening. The NFL Raiders draw tourists from opponent markets. An NBA team would need local support and all the casinos need to be supportive of the teams or it doesn’t work. Las Vegas may have too many sports teams very soon.

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ASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (48) races during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)