With the Golden Knights’ playoff run in full swing and the Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium website entering form, the NBA could be the next significant sports league on its method to Las Vegas.
Speaking at a company expert and investor day event Thursday, MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said he expects the NBA to come to Las Vegas in a few years.
Murren sees an NBA group transferring like the NFL’s Oakland Raiders’ pending 2020 relocate to Las Vegas, and not an expansion group being added, like in the case of the NHL’s Golden Knights.
“I think it’s highly likely that a group, or numerous groups, will be wanting to move over the next 3 years,” Murren stated. “We understand who they are, that’s why I think it’s extremely likely. I would expect that Las Vegas will have an NBA group within the next five years, if not earlier. That group would likely dip into T-Mobile (Arena).”
Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts, stated that the NBA and others have actually taken note of how the neighborhood has actually supported its first big league group, the Golden Knights, as they advanced through the season and into the playoffs.
Hornbuckle stated the addition of the Las Vegas Aces WNBA franchise, which MGM Resorts owns and will play at MGM’s Mandalay Bay, was a computed choice.
“We remain in the WNBA for a factor,” Hornbuckle stated. “They’re (NBA) extremely focused on this market– they’re extremely interested to see what takes place. So, I believe 3 to five-years is really genuine in terms of somebody pertaining to us and saying, ‘We wish to move a team (to Las Vegas),’ and then we’ll have some factors to consider to make in regards to if it takes place or not.”
If an NBA franchise does make the relocate to Las Vegas, Murren stated do not anticipate the casino giant to have any ownership in the team like it does with the Aces.
“We’re not going to be an NBA owner,” he said. “Even if we could, we’re not investing your (investors’) capital that method.”