LeBron James is not the only champion athlete who wants to bring an NBA team to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is the home of major league sports franchises, with the National Hockey League’s Golden Knights skating at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip and the National Football League’s Las Vegas Raiders playing at Allegiant Stadium just off The Strip.
The Golden Knights and Raiders draw hundreds of thousands of people to Las Vegas each year to watch games, which helps fill The Strip’s casinos, including those owned by MGM Resorts (MGM) – Get MGM Resorts International Report, Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report and Wynn (WYNN) – Get Wynn Resorts Limited Report. Las Vegas casinos will also see a huge benefit when the city hosts the 2024 Super Bowl and a 2023 Formula 1 car race.
Image source: USA TODAY Sports
Major League Teams Seek to Locate in Las Vegas
Sin City has also been courting Major League Baseball’s Oakland A’s, as the team has been considering a relocation to a site either on or adjacent to The Strip. The A’s decision of whether to move to Las Vegas rests on a June 30 vote by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission that could remove the port use designation for the Howard Terminal site for a proposed A’s ballpark near Oakland’s Jack London Square.
If BCDC votes against removing the port use designation, the Las Vegas A’s might be suiting up at a Vegas stadium in the near future. The A’s still have a long road ahead to get approval for an Oakland stadium even if BCDC votes in favor of removing the port use designation.
The National Basketball Association is the next major sports league that billionaire celebrities want to bring to Las Vegas. Multiple NBA-ready arena projects have already launched on and adjacent to The Strip, but no lease for any facility has been negotiated yet.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
LeBron James Says He Wants a Las Vegas NBA Team
The Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James recently stated in a preview of his HBO series “The Shop” that he was interested in owning a potential Las Vegas NBA team, The Street reported.
“I wanna own a team….Yeah, I wanna buy a team for sure. I would much rather own a team before I talk. I wanna own a team in Vegas. I want the team in Vegas,” James said in the video.
James isn’t the only billionaire athlete looking to own an NBA team in Las Vegas as boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, who lives in Las Vegas, said he’s been “talking to certain individuals” about owning an NBA team, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on June 13.
“I’ve been talking to certain individuals for the last six months,” Mayweather said on June 13 at the M Resort Spa Casino after announcing an exhibition bout against Japanese mixed martial artist Mikuru Asakura. “That’s something I’ve been working on behind the scenes, but I’ve never came out and publicly talked about that with the media.
“Me and my team have been working behind the scenes with the NBA. I can’t say exactly where, but I’m working on getting a team,” the Review-Journal reported.
The chance of either Mayweather or James owning an NBA expansion team in the near future is unlikely as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver rejected that possibility for the time being.
However, Silver has also said that Las Vegas is on a short list of possible locations whenever the league considers expansion, according to The Spun.
“It’s on a list at the point that we do turn to expansion, which isn’t right now but at some point, no doubt Vegas will be on the list,” Silver said.
Mayweather, whose boxing record is 50-0 with 27 knockouts, was recently enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y. The champion boxer plans to continue fighting in exhibitions going forward.