Nothing is certain in this day and age, but we’ve all certainly got our fingers crossed that the on-going health troubles out there don’t affect the upcoming NFL football season. Basketball was stopped late in the season… baseball never got started. College sports, including March Madness, were cancelled outright. When the new NFL season starts (we’re saying “when” just to be super-positive), there will be a new city on the map, Las Vegas.
The (former) Oakland Raiders are making the move from California to Nevada, and it’s a really big deal. Yet – and this is a very cool tidbit of information – our man Shaquille O’Neal says he’s hearing that an NBA team might be following the Raiders to Las Vegas.
Here at the ShaqFu Radio blog, we try to give credit where it’s due for the stories we find online. This time it’s a little tough; we found a post on ClutchPoints.com that had the Vegas story, but that story (on ClutchPoints) showed a Twitter post from another sports site called “The Score.” (check it out @thescore)
That post from The Score – includes a pic of Shaq and his quote: “I hear through the grapevine that there are a couple of teams for sale, and one may be going to Vegas.”
The Association is already a big player in Las Vegas (pun intended). It’s the host city of the NBA Summer League. So…how about a real franchise of its own? Shaq didn’t talk specifics over which team might have an eye on Vegas. For that matter, we don’t even know which (if any) teams may be for sale. It’s certainly an interesting possibility, though!
There’s even more to the Vegas / NBA connection. A story from Las Vegas KSNV-TV 3 says the giant hotel / casino company MGM Resorts recently floated the idea that their properties could host remaining games from this unfinished season.
Sports Illustrated and several other sports-news sources have reported on the MGM plan, which reportedly calls for the Mandalay Bay property to serve as the hub for the league, since it’s connected to other hotels and a convention center.
Here’s the interesting part: ALL remaining games would be played at Mandalay Bay and related properties… plans suggest as many as 24 basketball courts could be built at Mandalay’s convention center. Players’ families would reportedly be able to stay with them in the quarantined resort.
The Vegas proposal isn’t the only one on the table. Word is that Walt Disney World in Florida has floated a similar proposal to host games.
As for MGM itself, they’re keeping quiet – for now. A spokesman for the company says MGM Resorts International CEO William Hornbuckle has indeed been in contact with multiple sports leagues.
In a statement, Hornbuckle said; “We have been in ongoing dialogue with leagues and other sporting activities around televised-only events. Boxing, MMA, NBA, NHL, etc., and we can host some of that. and we are working diligently with those to do that.”
Stay tuned for more info!