Potential MLB Expansion Could Push Triple-A Out Of Vegas
An MLB team relocating or the league expanding into Las Vegas "likely would mean the end" of minor league baseball in the region, despite the Triple-A PCL Las Vegas Aviators "obliterating attendance records" at their new Las Vegas Ballpark, according to Ron Kantowski of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. PCL President Branch Rickey III said, "Major League Baseball is interested in any market where baseball seems to be a hot product. We knew this was going to happen before it happened." Kantowski noted MLB has "apparent interest in Las Vegas." However, Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown said, "This market is not ready for major league baseball, (unless) there's a multibillionaire out there who wants to build a billion-dollar domed baseball stadium. But the 81-game home schedule, the numbers don't pencil right now." Brown added, "How other teams that are drawing 10,000 people a night survive is through (a high demand for) TV rights, through cable rights. And we don't have those here." Kantowski noted if an MLB team does come to Vegas and force the Aviators to move, the $4M annual fee paid by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority to the Clark County Stadium Authority for the "naming rights to Las Vegas Ballpark would be waived." The contract may be "terminated by the LVCVA without liability if the team folds or moves" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/2).