That Does It! Vegas Needs an NLL Squad...
If you read my last article (Link), you would know I was at last weekend’s matchup between the Saskatchewan Rush and Colorado Mammoth. While the game was fun, I really enjoyed the pregame spectacles the Mammoth provided. The pyrotechnics, sexy dancers, and roaring motorcycles get you amped for opening faceoff. In the end, the whole thing adds up to good entertainment. That’s when it hit me. The NLL needs to field a team in the mecca of entertainment. Where you can have extravagant celebrations, beautiful people, and all of life’s temptations in one place. Where millions of tourists come in every year, looking for new things to spend their money on. The NLL needs to add a team in Las Vegas.
“But Luke” you say “Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert and lacrosse isn’t that big there. A team would never make it there.” You know who said the same thing? People saying the Golden Knights would never work. If you didn’t know, the Vegas Golden Knights are the newest team in the NHL. The 2017-2018 season was their first and they ended their season by losing in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals. Guess what. The people in Las Vegas love them. On the strip, you will see all kinds of posters advertising the team. Heck, even brothels support them (link)!
Like I said earlier, the Mammoth start their games by having beautiful girls ride out on motorcycles that drive around the arena with fire shooting into the air. Now that’s quite the opener. And that kind of stuff fits perfectly with Vegas. If any city can come up with over-the-top celebrations and traditions, its Vegas. Therefore, I believe the showmanship of the NLL would fit in well in Las Vegas.
Now an NLL team in Vegas can have great showmanship alongside the game, but it doesn’t matter if people don’t come. Las Vegas itself doesn’t have that large of a population. The city only hosts a population of 640,000 people. But here’s the catch: in 2018 alone, 42.12 million people visited the strip (link). If the NLL only draws in 2,000 to 3,000 tourists per game, alongside the local population, the team would do very well in terms of attendance.
Lots of Las Vegas tourists want to see something new. Just imagine if a couple casinos had team posters up on their game floor. Or they offered free gaming credit for buying tickets to a game. There are plenty of creative deals the team could do with local casinos to get tourists to their games. If the team was owned by William P. Foley II (Owner of Las Vegas Golden Knights), the NLL could have their newest team advertised at Golden Knight home games. This mention of ownership brings me to my next point.
Part of the expansion strategy for the NLL is to find markets that have NHL teams. They do this because using an owner that also owns the hometown NHL team allows for the NLL team to play in that arena. Think of the Colorado Mammoth, Vancouver Warriors, and Toronto Rock. Vegas could be a realistic expansion market due to the presence of an NHL team. The arena is already there.
My final reason for why the NLL should consider expansion into the Vegas market coincides with the city’s tourism. With 42 million people visiting per year, that is a lot of people coming from different markets who could be exposed to the game. Unlike a team in Colorado, where only Colorado locals watch them, or a team in San Diego, where only people living there see them, people from all over the globe would see a team in Vegas. You could have tourists from the northwest, southwest, northeast, southeast, and Germany see a game at the same time. If they enjoy the experience, they may go back home and tell everyone how awesome lacrosse is. To sum this up, having a team in Vegas would allow people from non-lacrosse hotspots to become exposed to the game. In turn they may tell people back home how great lacrosse is. Instead of the PLL touring specific cities to bring the game to non-traditional markets, an NLL team in Vegas would have people from non-traditional lacrosse markets come to them. That is a lot cheaper.
With the right ownership and proper marketing, I 100% believe an NLL team in Las Vegas would work. The San Diego Seals have done a great job growing box lacrosse out west and a team in Vegas would help the league capitalize on momentum. With so many visiting the city per year, it is almost certain some will be drawn into attending a game. With box lacrosse being such a spectacle, it is only fitting the NLL fields a team in the city where the show can never be too grand.
Like this article? Hate it? Do you agree the NLL should consider expanding into Vegas? Or do you think the points I make are totally out of whack? Whatever you think connect with me on Instagram (logical_lacrosse) or Twitter (Logical_Lacrosse) and let me know what you think. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article!