Itâ€™s not hard to spot Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman. Heâ€™ll be the man with two showgirls attached at each arm wearing headpieces. But, Goodman, the former attorney that represented organized crime figures before become mayor, is serious about one thing: he wants to see a major league team come to Sin City.
For those that have followed Major League Baseball over the last decade, you know that Goodman has pushed for a Major League Baseball team, and Vegas was talked of often when the Montreal Expos were up for relocation.
Most recently, with the troubles the Aâ€™s have had in gaining a new ballpark either in Oakland, Fremont, and now San Jose, Las Vegas has seemed like a possible relocation target. Yesterday, Goodman ratcheted up the conversation during his weekly news conference saying that discussions about building a 45,000 seat domed facility (one could always hope, Goodman meant â€śretractable roofâ€ť) on city-owned land. Goodman said talk of the stadium development was â€śvery serious.â€ť
When pressed as to who might be playing in such a new stadium, Goodman replied, â€śI have been advised we are designated an American League city.â€ť
Maybe that is, and maybe that isnâ€™t, but one thing is certain: donâ€™t expect a team to come to Las Vegas any time soon. In talking today with Major League Baseball they said they have no plans for expansion or to relocate a team at this time. In other words, any â€śrelocationâ€ť is going to happen regionally where clubs already exist.
â€śWeâ€™ll never be a major league city unless we have a major league team,â€ť Goodman said. â€śI was hoping I could have thrown out the first pitch, but I said that 11 1/2 years ago.â€ť
With Goodmanâ€™s term ending at the end of 2011, and there being term limits preventing his re-election, any chance of a team coming to Las Vegas will happen long after Goodman has left office.Â Even then, donâ€™t bet on it.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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