It’s no secret that the NLL is in the middle of a massive wave of expansion. San Diego and Philadelphia started this season while New York and Halifax will have teams next season. NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewciz has repeatedly stated that he wants to get the NLL to 30 teams. While that is not going to happen overnight it is certainly an achievable goal for the NLL.
To reach a goal of 30 teams that means the league will need 30 cities for a team to call home, unless they want to go the route of two teams in a city. I’m not sure that would work for the NLL as this is not the NFL or NBA here.
One city that everyone seems to have some kind of interest in is Las Vegas. Known as Sin City, pretty much anything is legal there and gambling is big business, especially sports gambling. While many leagues have stayed away from Las Vegas due to this very reason, in recent years the NHL has placed a team there with the Vegas Golden Knights and the Oakland Raiders of the NFL are moving to Vegas in a few years as well.
The NLL could be the next league to catch the Vegas fever and put an expansion team in Sin City. The MGM Resorts group has just recently submitted an application to the NLL for an expansion franchise.
Now Vegas has been a possible destination for the NLL before but it didn’t end up happening. Back in 2015 when the Swarm moved from Minnesota to Georgia Las Vegas was a city that was considered, as was Nashville. The NLL has also had their owners meetings in Las Vegas in the past as well.
This time with MGM submitting an application for an expansion franchise and the league growing like it never has before, it may just happen. MGM knows entertainment value when they see it so it’s hard to believe they would submit an expansion team application just for the heck of it.
Las Vegas is a non-traditional market, but we have seen the success of San Diego and the growth in other areas that received NLL franchises as well. Vegas would be cool to see and it would give the league another team out west and create an instant rivalry with San Diego.
While it’s just an application right now, the NLL expanding to Las Vegas could be huge for the league and the sport as a whole, especially with the entertainment and marketing expertise of the MGM Resorts group behind it. The team would also likely play at a world class arena at T-Mobile Arena. It would also make for a very fun road trip for many NLL fans as well.
Although Vegas looks like a pleasing place for the NLL to expand to, fans may want to keep a closer eye on cites such San Francisco, Nashville, and Edmonton for the time being.