Henderson Mayor Debra March excited the sports fans of the Las Vegas area by hinting at a sports team moving into Henderson.
“Very soon, we hope to be sharing exciting news about another major sports organization that might just be calling Henderson home,” March said. “We’ve got a great shot. So please stay tuned for more details.”
Here is the ranking of the 5 most likely leagues or teams to move to Henderson.
It is hard to imagine the NBA coming to the valley and not playing on or near the strip. A suburban NBA team in Vegas doesn’t sound like a great way to maximize ticket sales.
But if the NBA truly wants new expansion franchises to have their own arenas, maybe Henderson is willing to fork over enough public money to get an owner to see value in putting a team away from the strip.
That’s National Lacrosse League. The NLL recently canceled the 2021 season due to COVID-19. But in that cancelation announcement, the NLL hinted that “exciting franchise announcements are coming very soon”.
Lacrosse probably isn’t a big enough to be considered a “major” pro sports franchise. But it wouldn’t be the first time a mayor overhyped something.
This one seems doubtful. But not completely out of the question.
Currently Las Vegas Lights play in the USL, but there is an ongoing negotiating agreement between the City of Las Vegas and a group led by billionaire Seth Klarman that would see Cashman Field and Lights FC handed over.
Klarman would then build a new soccer stadium downtown and try to get MLS into Las Vegas. But every day without any news or agreement makes this seem less and less likely for the City of Las Vegas. Henderson could conceivably slide into the mix for soccer.
It wasn’t long ago Henderson tried to lure the Diamondbacks out of Arizona. There has been an ongoing lease dispute between the Diamondbacks and Maricopa County. But it seems to have settled down for now.
But Henderson was pitching the Diamondbacks on a plan that included a $1 billion retractable roof stadium. Even if it isn’t the Diamondbacks, Henderson could easily make the same pitch to another team (like the Tampa Bay Rays?).
1) Las Vegas Aces
The most likely choice is the least exciting choice. Simply because the Aces already call the Las Vegas valley home. This would not be a new addition to the area, but just a move down the road.
But the Aces make sense as the next team of Henderson. MGM recently sold the Aces to Mark Davis, who might be looking to play in his own venue. However, building a 5,000-10,000 seat arena for just the Aces might not make a lot of sense.
But Henderson recently forked over $42 million to the Golden Knights to build the Henderson Event Center for the Silver Knights. With a seating capacity just over 6,000, the Event Center will be the perfect size for the Aces.
The best prediction: The Las Vegas Aces build a practice facility in Henderson while moving their games to the Henderson Event Center. And everyone is disappointed in Debra March for getting their hopes up for a new team.