New Vegas WNBA Team Gets "Aces" Moniker; League President Borders Bullish On Market
SAFE BET: In Las Vegas, Alan Snel wrote the team's new logo and name are "solid, safe and predictable." The mark is "not a home run, but the Aces fit the town’s gambling theme." MGM Resorts Chair & CEO Jim Murren said that the purchase of the franchise and re-branding into the Aces is "not a strategic move to pave the way for an NBA team at T-Mobile Arena." Murren: “They are connecting dots that shouldn’t be connected. There are no strings attached.” MGM Resorts Int'l President Bill Hornbuckle "initially did not support the WNBA team acquisition because he needed to find out more information such as identifying a strategic plan behind the purchase." But Murren "wanted the team and Hornbuckle came around." Hornbuckle said that the “cost of entry was not too much.” Snel noted it was Borders who first "approached MGM Resorts about buying the San Antonio WNBA franchise" (LVSPORTSBIZ.com, 12/11).
POCKET ACES: Hornbuckle said of the team's new name, “Aces was a name MGM Resorts actually owned, and we went out and copyrighted it for a sports team. We tried to convince [Golden Knights Owner] Bill Foley to use it, but because of his connection to West Point he wasn’t going there. He wanted Golden Knights.” In Las Vegas, John Katsilometes notes a "new seating system with 20 floor-level sets and new scoreboard are planned" for Mandalay Bay Events Center. Hornbuckle said, “We’re working on a new infrastructure for television, because WNBA games are televised events. We’ll have new paint, a general spit-and-polish effort, and it will feel brand new to anyone who walks in.” Katsilometes also notes the arena’s beige color palette "will be replaced with the Aces team colors: gray, black and red" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 12/12).