A new minor league ballpark in Downtown Summerlin would provide an obstacle for Major League Baseball if it wanted to relocate to Las Vegas, Mayor Carolyn Goodman said.
Goodman said she met with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred last week in Washington, D.C., while attending a meeting of the United States Council of Mayors and expressed her desire for baseball to join the National Hockey League and NFL with a team in Southern Nevada.
“I talked to him about MLB coming here and getting one of those teams not necessarily doing well at the gate,” she said. “That conversation will carry over.”
That conversation, however, could be difficult because of the $150 million stadium being built for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, Goodman said.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors voted 8-2 to invest $80 million in the 10,000-seat, open-air ballpark in exchange for naming rights. It is expected to be ready for the 2019 season.
Goodman is part of the authority board but abstained from voting on the money for the ballpark.
“I sit on the board. I said, ‘What are you doing (to 51s officials)? What happens if MLB wants to come?’” she said.
Their answer, she continued: “They would have to buy us out.”
Goodman is convinced the NBA will eventually host a team in Las Vegas, pointing to the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, which begin play in the spring, as a step in the right direction. She also is in frequent communication with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
And she’s confident the minor league soccer Las Vegas Lights will be a hit in downtown Las Vegas, eventually graduating to Major League Soccer.
She’s not as optimistic about baseball. One hiccup would be costs associated with expanding the new ballpark.
“Major league baseball is probably the last,” she said.