I was tuning in to ESPN radio and heard that the stadium deal between the City of Sacramento and the NBA franchise, the Kings, fell through. According to the announcers on ESPN, the Kings are the ones who are responsible for this snafu. A couple of weeks ago, the franchise gave its okay to a tentative deal with the city to build a new stadium; however, Kings are now trying to renege on some of the promises they made to the city as part of the agreement.
The ESPN announcers stated that the Kings might move to Seattle or Vancouver if the franchise can't strike a deal with Sacramento soon. However, the first thought that came to my mind is, "Why don't the Kings move to Vegas?" I mean the Maloof family, which has a majority ownership stake in the Kings (or at least I think they do), are part owners in The Palms casino (though I guess they own a little bit less of that casino now: see BND.com story). Las Vegas might not be a great T.V. market, but it certainly has enough tourists and locals to fill a good sized arena each night. Heck, maybe Las Vegas would be a better T.V. market. It doesn't have anywhere near the population as California; however the Kings also won't have to compete with several other teams for Nielsen ratings/shares. Finally, I don't think the NBA has to worry about a Las Vegas team ruining its brand. No one in L.A. is going to stop watching the Lakers or Clippers because the NBA chose to allow a team to move to Sin City. The same thing goes for the fans of the other NBA franchises.
The Maloof family and Nevada could even save some money and build a stadium adjacent--or perhaps connecting to The Palms. That could be a win-win for everyone.
Now the Sacramento Kings franchise might want to change its name if it does move to Vegas. The Las Vegas Gamblers probably wouldn't work. How about the Kings of Hearts or, err, perhaps the Vegas Boardwalkers, or maybe the Vegas Rain (irony there). The sky's the limit for this one.
Of course, it is highly unlikely that the Sacramento Kings will ever move to Vegas. I doubt if any NBA team would...But it is sometimes fun to speculate...
Disclaimer: the author usually goes to Las Vegas once a year, so his views may be biased. ;-)
Photo is from Wikimedia Commons. The photo's author/owner is Photos by flipchip / LasVegasVegas.com. It was taken on September 27, 2007 and placed in the public domain via a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Thanks again to http://www.lasvegasvegas.com for positing this photo in Wikimedia Commons.