Thanks to Robb Cohen Photography and Video
Adnan Virk’s expert history puts him in the middle of a Venn diagram of the Las Vegas sports scene in 2017.
As a host of “Baseball Tonight” on ESPN, Virk understands why MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred last month stated Las Vegas might be a viable relocation market for the sport. Virk’s former functions as an NHL and NBA press reporter in his native Canada give him astute insight into the capacity for hockey and basketball to prosper in the desert also.
After hosting a panel of the brand-new IFC program “Brockmire” at the current National Association of Broadcasters convention, Virk spoke about how his very first journey to Las Vegas years ago opened his eyes to the possibilities for expert sports in Southern Nevada.
What do you consider Las Vegas as a major league sports market?
It’s long overdue. I have actually only been to Vegas when previously– I was with my better half a couple of years earlier, we (likewise) went to the Grand Canyon– and I’m not a bettor. So when we were here, I saw that it’s not practically gambling. There’s a lot to do here. The shows are magnificent, there’s great deals of home entertainment and being someone who’s into that, that definitely feeds that vibe.
This concept of Vegas being this gaming hotbed and prostitution everywhere is completely outdated. Individuals should recognize that Las Vegas (was) the fastest-growing city in America. As soon as I got here, I was listening to the Fox (radio) affiliate, ESPN, CBS– there’s no concern.
Can Las Vegas support an NHL team?
Being Canadian, my first question was, where’s the hockey group going to play? And somebody revealed me. The NFL is certainly going to be nearby there. It’s long overdue. They’re both going to be a success.
The key for hockey is this: It’s tough for expansion teams right from eviction. San Jose was not a hotbed for hockey, but they gave it a few years and now San Jose is an actually strong fan base, which you wouldn’t anticipate in Northern California. Vegas has the advantage of (the team) arriving prior to the NFL, so if they can leave to an excellent start– which can be tricky for expansion teams– and build that following early. I believe the fans will enjoy it.
Football’s going to be No. 1 regardless, but hockey has a better opportunity than people might believe since there are numerous transplants who pertain to Las Vegas. So you’ll have a great deal of hockey fans from Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit– regular winter hotbeds.
Las Vegas might not have the ability to get a growth franchise in the near term, however exactly what are your ideas on possible relocation and expansion in MLB?
Baseball is in a fantastic location right now. I know the narrative in some cases can be, “Oh, it doesn’t have the same national reach and the overalls are down.” That is an issue, and the sport does have to market its stars better– you need to understand Mike Trout the method you understand LeBron James.
(However) when I go to baseball arenas, they’re loaded. When I go to different markets, individuals are into it. When I simply saw exactly what the Cubs performed in the World Series and that resonated with 40 million people– to me, that shows baseball is still a great video game. It does not imply that there aren’t challenges on the nationwide level, however the sport is strong. It’s just a matter of pace of play, offense, getting young people included– but the actual sport is still at a high level.
To your point about expansion, (MLB’s) problem is that there are a number of sore spots and you have to repair those. Clearly Tampa is a concern. They’ve got to discover a better location. The Trop is not a good arena, and (Tampa) has actually not been a great fan base. I would posit pressing it back to Montreal. Being Canadian, I would love to see that. Any person who knows the true story understands the factor that went downhill was due to the fact that of the strike in ’94. That eliminated the sport in Montreal.
Now if they had an arena, that’s the secret. The Huge O (Olympic Arena) is a dreadful place for baseball. If they might fix that, it would be much better. Portland could be an option also. So there are a number of ones they need to fix. I do not think they ought to broaden. I would be more in favor of moving.