VEGAS (December 13, 2018) — The Suns are coming. The Suns are coming! The Phoenix Suns are nowhere near a move to Las Vegas right now.
This feels like 2016 all over again: The Raiders are coming! In 2020, the Las Vegas Raiders will lace up and run across a field at their new $1.8 billion dollar home.
And according to multiple reports, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver threatened to move the team to Seattle or Las Vegas.
Apparently, Mr. Sarver is unhappy with Talking Stick Resort Arena, in downtown Phoenix, and the City Council. –Which is similar to what happened in Oakland to Raiders’ owner Mark Davis. –The Suns are playing in an outdated arena, in need of major upgrades, and Sarver wants taxpayers to pay the bill.
After the news broke on Wednesday afternoon.
Suns President & CEO, Jason Rowley released the following statement:
Statement from Suns President & CEO, Jason Rowley: pic.twitter.com/WoQmRnBDdA
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) December 12, 2018
The case for Vegas
Vegas has the political support from Clark County to bring an NBA franchise, which is a step in the right direction.
The Las Vegas Suns has a nice ring to it! ? https://t.co/oOgSGhGOkt
— Clark County Nevada (@ClarkCountyNV) December 12, 2018
The Vegas Golden Knights came within a few games shy of parading a Stanley Cup down Las Vegas Boulevard last season.
The WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces nearly made the playoffs in their inaugural season. Led by rookie A’ja Wilson (2018 ROTY & All-Star), and fellow WNBA All-Star, Kayla McBride.
USL’s Las Vegas Lights FC has done plenty to garner attention, and it’s struck again as it prepares for its sophomore season.
The club has hired former U.S. men’s national team great Eric Wynalda as its manager and technical director.
From the NHL to the USL, Las Vegas has a lot to offer an NBA franchise. The Suns would relocate to a new city, gain new fans, and most importantly — A state-of-the-art facility at T-Mobile Arena.
Quick Facts | T-Mobile Arena
- Opened: April 6, 2016
- Owner: T-Mobile Arena, owned by AEG and MGM Resorts International
- Operator: MGM Resorts International
- Functions: Multipurpose Entertainment venue available to host NBA and NHL teams, concerts, boxing, mixed martial arts, award shows and other major events
- Project Cost: $375 million
- Site Acreage: Approximately 16 acres
Arena Square Footage: 650,000 square feet
- Events: 100 to 150 annually
- Boxing/UFC: 20,000
- Hockey: 17,500
- Basketball: 18,000
In addition to multiple locker facilities, premium dressing rooms, green room and multipurpose spaces to accommodate a variety of sports and entertainment events.
T-Mobile Arena can follow the Staples Center’s blueprint for success. The L.A. Lakers, Kings and Clippers, have an NBA-NHL shared arena.
Although not a universal arrangement in markets with teams in both leagues, shared NHL-NBA arenas are still somewhat common. For the 2018-19 seasons in both leagues, there are 11 total shared arenas.
Remember: This is a threat to move the team to Seattle or Las Vegas. Robert Sarver is probably all “talk.”
It’s a great strategy to use the aforementioned cities as negotiating tools to upgrade “Talking Stick Resort’s Arena.”
Consider a few things, before you buy into the Suns relocating:
The NBA can set the fee for relocating a franchise at just about any price it wants.
It was rumored (11 years ago) the NBA asked for $75 million from the Seattle group to relocate the Sonics to Oklahoma City.
Sarver has a long way to go before considering Vegas in option.
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