The city loves sports, and has no trouble drawing a crowd.
Vegas local here. One thing you cannot ignore with respect to the Knights is the mass shooting. Their first game came only a few days later, and the number 57 (the number of deaths from the shooting) is retired by the Knights. Tons of people wore "Vegas Strong" tickets to the games the inaugural season.
I agree that the A's will work, but nothing can replicate the Knights.
Nate you really need a copy editor. Knights, not Knicks, in this section:
"to a slot-machine type jingle that sounds whenever the Knicks score. "
Also I think the baseball product last year was so much better with the pitch clock, bigger bases, impairing the shift and 3 batter minimums for relievers that it may help with attendance for more casual fans.
No league will be better served by Vegas than MLB. Any team will have great attendance, but considering baseball stadiums are the only stadia that actually have a lot of available ticket inventory on any given day, and you can see a Vegas team actually getting to take advantage of all the tourists (other leagues already come close to selling out regularly, so there's less to gain there).
I used to live in Las Vegas and was always surprised that it had no teams and once I left low and behold the teams popped up. I always felt the synergy between people willing to travel for a ballgame and the tourism industry there was perfect.
I just wish that growing up in the 90s that Nevada would have gotten this sooner. As a kid there was no local team to root for. Sports teams, help to give people a sense of Identity.
In fact where I live now, Nebraska, seems to have a lot of identity hung up on the Huskers.
I think the Knights will remain Las Vegas's favorite, but having someplace other than a casino to attract outsiders can't be bad as other states loosen up on the gambling laws.
Quick note. Las Vegas is surrounded by federal lands. That is why it is compact, not because of urban design. As far as I know this makes it unique in the USA.
Doesn’t the quality and commitment of the ownership have something to do with it?
One precedent for tourists driving baseball attendance is that I'm pretty sure the only MLB teams that routinely sell out every game, or even come close, are the Cubs and the Red Sox - largely because their stadiums are tourist attractions. If you're visiting Chicago or Boston and have even a passing interest in baseball, "take in a game at Wrigley/Fenway" is likely to be fairly high on your list of things to do. Other MLB teams don't really have this.
Now, obviously the Vegas As cannot replicate the precise circumstances that make Cubs and Red Sox games appealing to tourists. But perhaps there is something they can do, ideally with a Vegas-y twist. Develop some unique entertainment attractions within walking distance of the stadium? Do some kind of pre-game show? Figuring out a way to make an As game an appealing experience for tourists who are casual baseball fans seems like it should be a priority for the team.
CityNerd didn’t quite herald Las Vegas as a marvel of high-density design, but he didn’t totally disparage it either: https://youtu.be/rZhmclhGMj8?si=uY_pshBZVoLpnuSA
What about the inevitable NBA team? Can Vegas handle 4 teams?
You mention Miami which is a terrible MLB town—they need to bulldoze their stadium and build a new one near the Panthers arena. The Marlins ballpark is similar to the Ballpark at Arlington in that it was built a few years before a new ballpark changed everything (Truist Park).
On the macro Vegas level, it is worth noting Vegas is one of the US cities where you can still get a lot of the strong middle class employment needed to support sports teams from an attendance standpoint. Being from the Bay Area I don't see it as coincidence that a lot of the middle class that is being priced out here is moving to places like Las Vegas where they can maintain their quality of life in their professions. I don't think it's entirely coincidence that Oakland teams are migrating with a portion of their fan base.
Now on your Knights and A's bets, I think you are missing one key factor, ownership (and might be in trouble with this bet too). The Knights had a great, engaged ownership group that wanted to put winning product out there. The Raiders have frankly been fumbling around with this for a while and I think the difference in results shows through in both team achievement and fan engagement (not to say that the Raiders haven't seen success, just middle tier and not as much as the Knights). As any A's and Earthquakes fan will tell you all too much of the A's success will hinge on how much Fisher wants to enable this team to succeed. Thus far we've seen him favor penny pinching over tabling a contender and we all know on field success if the way to the heart of a sports fan base.
Things aren't working out ideally so far for the first Formula 1 race in Las Vegas this weekend in many years (and yes, that is definitely a major sport), so the timing for this piece is a bit funny. However, the race itself hasn't happened yet -- night-time this Saturday -- so maybe it will all be a positive in the end.
Nate Silver is a good bet for an interesting article
I require the stadium to have a hot dog buffet
Agree to disagree, for a few reasons some are listing below (bad ownership, too many games, etc.) but I think one thing you're missing is the proposed stadium capacity. It's projected to be the smallest stadium in all of baseball which doesn't help attendance numbers because of the lack of upside. If the A's are one of the best teams in baseball and hosting the Yankees for a weekend series in September with playoff seeding on the line? There's no way to flex up for the increased demand. Nearly the entire league has a capacity of 40K+ for this very reason. There's a ton of downside for attendance, and while the bottom may not be as low as this last season with the A's, I think there's a good chance we see some very sparsely attended games.