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TEAM SAYS DON'T BET ON THE ROCKETS MOVING TO LAS VEGAS
Published December 15, 1995
For the second time this year, Rockets officials have "slapped down" rumors that the team was moving -- this time a report in the January '96 issue of TEXAS MONTHLY that Rockets Owner Les Alexander is secretly negotiating to move the team to Las Vegas. Rockets Dir of PR Kathy Frietsch calls the report "absolutely ridiculous." Texas Monthly spokesperson Lisa Lawrence said they stand by the story, which documents teams leaving cities and focuses on the Oilers' move to Nashville and the problems of Astros Owner Drayton McLane. The story cites two sources who claim Alexander is not happy with his situation at The Summit and is interested in Las Vegas. The HOUSTON CHRONICLE's Michael Murphy notes an August report they had mentioning Las Vegas, but team officials at that time also said denied any discussions or plans. Murphy also notes a move to Las Vegas would face serious challenges from the NBA because of its stance on gambling. The league required Canada to change laws regarding sports wagering before clearing the way for expansion teams in Toronto and Vancouver, and the league was also success in forcing the state of Oregon to discontinue its sports lottery (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/15). The Rockets' lease with the Summit runs through 2003 (USA TODAY, 12/15). GO 'STROS: Ed Fowler writes with the Astros' resigning of Craig Biggio, Owner Drayton McLane is betting on a comeback of baseball in Houston (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/15).