The Evolution of Las Vegas Sports Teams: A New Powerhouse

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Las Vegas Sports Teams - Vegas Golden Knights 2023

Introduction

Las Vegas, the world-famous Sin City, has always been synonymous with entertainment and nightlife… Sports betting, but not necessarily sports teams. But this has changed in recent years with regulations being lifted and the construction of new, top-tier arenas.

Today, the city boasts a diverse portfolio of professional sports teams, offering both locals and tourists a thrilling variety of events. From the icy thrill of the NHL to the adrenaline rush of the NFL, from the electrifying energy of the WNBA to the classic charm of the MLB, Las Vegas sports teams have woven a vibrant tapestry of athletic prowess amid the Nevada Desert.

A Historical Overview: Las Vegas and Major League Sports

Due to sports betting and regulations, Las Vegas wasn’t seen as a viable city to host major sports franchises. The city’s association with legalized sports betting was a deterrent for national sports leagues, which generally held a cautious view towards the mingling of professional sports and gambling. But with changing attitudes and the evolution of sports betting laws, the city has seen an influx of major league sports teams. It has become a coveted destination for sports franchises.

As of June 2023, Vegas is home to four major sports teams, another in the process of relocation, and rumors of even an NBA team in the future.

The Las Vegas Raiders: An NFL Team’s Journey to the Desert

In 2020, the NFL’s Raiders found a new home in Las Vegas, injecting new excitement into the city’s sports landscape. The Raiders’ journey to Las Vegas was long, marked by stints in Oakland and Los Angeles. Since their arrival, they have quickly become one of Sin City’s major sports attractions.

Las Vegas Raiders - #98 Maxx Crosby
#98 Maxx Crosby

The Raiders’ games unfold at the $1.97 billion Allegiant Stadium, an architectural wonder that has undoubtedly played a pivotal role in luring the franchise to the city. The futuristic stadium, nestled near the Las Vegas Strip, has a seating capacity of 65,000 and hosts not only Raiders’ games but also various other events, both sports and non-sports. With its innovative design and world-class amenities, Allegiant Stadium provides a spectacular backdrop for the high-stakes drama of NFL games.

Unsurprisingly, Las Vegas was selected to host Super Bowl LVIII, the 58th Super Bowl, in February 2024, further cementing its status as an emerging top-tier sports destination.

The Vegas Golden Knights: The Pride of Sin City

The narrative of Las Vegas sports teams would be incomplete without the mention of the Vegas Golden Knights. As the city’s inaugural significant sports franchise, the Golden Knights have struck gold, setting a high bar for professional sports in the city.

Born in 2017, this NHL team made an immediate splash, not just on the rink, but also in the city’s heartbeat. Their stellar debut season, which saw them skating to the Stanley Cup Finals, swiftly won over the hearts of Vegas locals.

T-mobile arena in Las Vegas
T-Mobile Arena

The T-Mobile Arena, the home turf of the Golden Knights, offers an immersive experience for fans seeking the thrill of high-speed ice hockey. Positioned near the iconic Las Vegas Strip, this cutting-edge arena symbolizes the city’s commitment to establishing itself as a major sports hub.

The team’s logo, a knight’s helmet superimposed on a black and gold shield, and its mascot, a Gila monster named Chance, have become iconic symbols beloved by Vegas locals.

2023 became the most significant year of the Vegas Golden Knights, capturing their first Stanley Cup win with a scintillating 4-1 series win over the Florida Panthers in a season no one expected them to be a champion in.

Las Vegas Aces: Making Strides in the WNBA

In women’s basketball, the Las Vegas Aces have made their mark since relocating to the city in 2018. The Aces, a WNBA team, has quickly emerged as one of the most successful franchises in the city, winning the 2022 WNBA Commissioner’s Cup and WNBA Championship. Their games are held at the Michelob ULTRA Arena, allowing fans to witness top-tier women’s basketball in a charged atmosphere.

Initially established as the Utah Starzz before moving to San Antonio and finally Las Vegas. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Aces’ move to Vegas has been successful, winning a championship and becoming a top WNBA in just a few years.

Las Vegas Desert Dogs: Bringing Lacrosse to the Forefront

The newest addition to the city’s sports lineup is the Las Vegas Desert Dogs, the city’s first professional box lacrosse team. Making their debut in 2022, the Desert Dogs have joined the National Lacrosse League (NLL), introducing an exhilarating new sport to the city’s roster.

The team, backed by an impressive ownership group that includes sports legends like Wayne Gretzky and Steve Nash, plays its home games at the Michelob ULTRA Arena. Although new, the team has shown promising signs and is poised to significantly impact the city’s sports scene in the coming years.

The Future: Las Vegas A’s

Another Major sports team in the process of relocating to Las Vegas are the Oakland A’s. The details and funding of the new arena are still in process and set to begin construction around 2024 but the A’s are set to be the next jewel in the Las Vegas’ crown.

Oakland A's logo
Oakland Athletics

The team, backed by an impressive ownership group that includes sports legends like Wayne Gretzky and Steve Nash, plays its home games at the Michelob ULTRA Arena. Although new, the team has shown promising signs and is poised to significantly impact the city’s sports scene in the coming years.

A New Era of Sports in Las Vegas

The rise of sports in Las Vegas has not been a mere coincidence. The city has strategically invested in infrastructure, erecting world-class arenas and stadiums to accommodate top-tier sports franchises and events. With the Oakland A’s relocation and rumblings of a possible NBA team, the future is bright for Las Vegas’ sports scene.

Looking to catch a game from one of Vegas’ sports teams? Check out our guide on the best places to stay in Las Vegas! Or if you’re looking to go full high-roller, why not fly private to Vegas?

For more exciting updates and insider tips on the best of Las Vegas, follow @melindasheckells

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  • Melinda Sheckells

    I’m Melinda Sheckells, your go-to source for all things Las Vegas. My journey has led me through the heart of Vegas’ top media outlets, from steering...

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FAQ’s

What are the major sports teams in Las Vegas?

As of June 2023, Las Vegas is home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, and the NLL’s Las Vegas Desert Dogs. The MLB’s Oakland A’s are also in the process of relocating to Las Vegas.

Who are the Vegas Golden Knights?

The Vegas Golden Knights are Las Vegas’ inaugural major sports franchise. This NHL team was established in 2017 and made an immediate impact, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in their debut season and captured their first Stanley Cup win in 2023, winning 4-1 against the Florida Panthers.

When did the Las Vegas Raiders move to Las Vegas? 

The NFL’s Raiders moved to Las Vegas in 2020. Their games are held at the Allegiant Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 65,000.

What achievements have the Las Vegas Aces made? 

The Las Vegas Aces, a WNBA team, have emerged as one of the most successful franchises in the city since relocating in 2018. They won the 2022 WNBA Commissioner’s Cup and WNBA Championship.

What is the newest sports team in Las Vegas?

The newest addition to Las Vegas’ sports lineup is the Las Vegas Desert Dogs, the city’s first professional box lacrosse team. They made their debut in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) in 2022.

Does Las Vegas have an NBA team?

Although there is plenty of interest, Las Vegas does not have an NBA team yet.

Does Las Vegas have an MLB team?

The Oakland A’s are set to relocate to Las Vegas in the coming years. Their new arena will begin construction around 2024.

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