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Las Vegas has seen an influx of sporting activity in recent years, having hosted the Super Bowl and an innovative Formula 1 event. This could be set to increase, however, as the Red Bull Group reportedly holds ambitious plans for a Vegas-based NBA team. 

According to a report by Bloomberg, the group is looking to bring an NBA team to the region, a move that would significantly elevate the sporting footprint of the region. 

Internal deliberations are set to have already taken place, however, further progress for a potential team hinges largely upon the cost of an expansion team. 

It has been predicted that after the NBA forms its plans for its next media rights deal, reportedly worth up to $76bn in a multi-year agreement, the league will then commence exploring expanding the NBA by adding two new franchises. 

The league’s activity in the region in recent times has fuelled speculation around the potential for Sin City to be one of the regions that benefits from an expansion team. 

It’s a move that could prove a significant boost for Vegas, which is already deemed an entertainment capital that brings in mass tourism every year and has recently hosted the F1 as well as the Super Bowl and was also boosted by the expansion of an NFL side. 

The region has been significantly uplifted by sports tourism in recent years, with Jonathan Halkyard, Chief Financial Officer at MGM Resorts International, detailing that Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix helped to produce the best hotel gross revenue weekend for the company in its history.

He was speaking at last year’s Bank of America Securities Leveraged Finance Conference, where he explored the evolution of the city as a hub for key sporting events.

The CFO noted that the F1 booked to come to the city during one of its slowest weekends of the year. Because of the high expectations MGM had for the event, it invested heavily into it, including creating experiences for casino and retail customers in front of the Bellagio.

As a result of the investment, MGM ended up having one of its best weekends of the year and in the company’s history in terms of hotel revenue, with the event having contributed towards predicted record November numbers in terms of hotel revenue as well.

Halkyard commented: “The race met every one of our expectations. It was the highest-grossing weekend for us in hotel revenue in the company’s history. The second highest was the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in 2019. 

“When you think about other events that have happened in Las Vegas over the years, and in the scale of our company, that’s quite something, to have a record weekend on what was otherwise the slowest weekend of the year.”