MGM Resorts has made it very clear over the years that the NBA is coming to Las Vegas. Between former CEO Jim Murren and current CEO Bill Hornbuckle, MGM has not been shy about interest in the NBA.
Jim Murren is “utterly confident” the NBA is coming to Las Vegas
“I’m utterly confident we’re going to get a basketball team in the next few years, and I hope it’s at T-Mobile. Imagine having three of the four major sports in Las Vegas and what that will do to further our growth of our tourist economy.”
Jim Murren says he is actively pursuing an NBA team for Las Vegas
Jim Murren joined KNPR and unveiled that he was doing more than just predicting an NBA team would come to Las Vegas, he was the one trying to make it happen.
“Imagine the thought of having a professional hockey team, a professional football team, a professional soccer team, probably a professional basketball team — I’m working on that.”
MGM Resorts buys WNBA team
MGM bought the San Antonio Stars and moved the franchise to Las Vegas, ultimately to be named the Las Vegas Aces.
The Aces played at MGM-owned Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Bill Hornbuckle says the NBA could be in Vegas in five years
About six months after buying the Aces, Hornbuckle gave everyone reason to believe the WNBA was a precursor to the NBA.
“We’re in the WNBA for a reason,” Hornbuckle said to the Las Vegas Sun. “They’re (NBA) very focused on this market — they’re very interested to see what happens. So, I think three to five-years is very real in terms of somebody coming to us and saying, ‘We want to move a team (to Las Vegas),’ and then we’ll have some considerations to make in terms of if it happens or not.”
May 11th of this year will mark the three year anniversary of this comment.
Jim Murren repeats Hornbuckle’s prediction
While he didn’t give a definitive timeline, Murren gave a very similar prediction to The Sun as Hornbuckle did in 2018.
“The NBA loves Las Vegas. I expect an NBA team over the next few years.”
Mark Davis buys Aces from MGM
After three seasons, MGM elected to sell the WNBA franchise to Raiders owner Mark Davis.
Davis has been one of the biggest fans of the Las Vegas Aces, often sitting court side at games.