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Stadium Search Series: Episode IV

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Going a bit outside of the box here for certain--can you handle this one? Hold onto your hats, because the desert winds are coming strong.

You want to take a gamble on playing in Vegas, Cowgill?
You want to take a gamble on playing in Vegas, Cowgill?
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

So far, we've looked at Montebello, Long Beach and Irvine as our stadium options. Montebello seemed to have a generally negative reaction, Long Beach gained what seems to be the most favored reaction, and Irvine saw a pretty even split.

These next two cities will DEFINITELY upset the apple cart, as one sees a complete departure from the Los Angeles market, and the other sees an unconventional way of saturating that said market. Today, though, we'll focus on the whole-new-market experience.

There is a place where almost two million people call home, and it is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the entire United States. It is growing to be such a popular place to live, that even people FROM the Los Angeles market are moving there. All of these people, a whole ton of business being done there--and yet, there is an unbelievable amount of land to build upon.

Will this be a completely different experience? Without a doubt. This, if it happened, would change the entire game of baseball, and the entire look of the American sports scene, because despite the immense popularity of this area, not a single major sports team calls it home--and only one minor league team, of any major sport, calls it home.

Now, take this proposal not so much as an imminent and impending event, but mull it over with an open mind and consider it with a blank slate. Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you...

NEW ANGELS STADIUM SITE #4: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
POTENTIAL STADIUM ADDRESS: 7601 LAS VEGAS BOULEVARD
LAND SIZE: 192 ACRES
CURRENT USE: VACANT

Now, before you go decrying this for a variance of reasons, let's look at this from a BUSINESS standpoint. Las Vegas is an almost completely untapped sports market. MLB has considered the area before--in fact, when the Montreal Expos sought to relocate, Bud Selig personally reached out to Vegas officials himself and added the team to the short list of relocation sites. Arte Moreno is all about capitalization--and what better way to capitalize on a market, than to be the first team, and first major sport, to occupy said market?

Think of it this way: Arte Moreno would have ZERO media competition in the sports world in Las Vegas. He'd stand alone. He would have (dare I say it?) a monopoly on the sports scene there.

Now, let's be real--it isn't as if people in Vegas are starving for nightlife. There's a few things to do there, just to put it very ever-so lightly. But this location is PRIME real estate for Arte.

Oh wait, that's right, the location. The site is an undeveloped chunk of land directly east of Interstate 15, just south of its interchange with Interstate 215 (the Nevada one, yes there are multiple I-215s) bounded by Warm Springs Road to the north, and Blue Diamond Road (the terminus of Nevada State Route 160) at its south, with its addressed street, Las Vegas Boulevard, serving as the site's eastern boundary. Now, it is directly across from the Las Vegas Premium Outlets (the southern portion of the outlets, anyway) and about half a mile south of the Lovesac Town Square, one of Las Vegas' largest shopping centers. Furthermore, directly northeast of Lovesac is McCarran International Airport.

Technically speaking, the stadium site is, properly, in the unincorporated suburb/business haven of Enterprise, but considered to be part of Las Vegas Township. There is an absolute ton of land to develop, and this is just one of many untouched chunks.

Speaking of which, how do you even get to this site? A few ways.

FREEWAY EXIT/DIRECTIONS
Interstate 15 Exit SR-160/Blue Diamond Road east, turn left on Las Vegas Boulevard
Exit Las Vegas Boulevard south
Interstate 215 Exit Las Vegas Boulevard south
Exit Warm Springs Road west, turn left on Las Vegas Boulevard


Sure, there's only four exits to get there. And Las Vegas traffic is nasty, but to be realistic...it isn't SoCal nasty. It isn't 5/805 junction nasty. It isn't 91-past-2:30 nasty. It's bad, but it isn't heinous.

Here's something to think about, though: How often would you go to a Las Vegas Angels game? Would you make the trip up for a weekend and situate yourself in front of video poker at Mandalay Bay in between games? Would you make a weekend out of it? Also to be considered: With two million people in the Vegas metro area, how many of them WILL go to a baseball game? Sure, Vegas itself might be preoccupied, but consider that a lot of residents of the surrounding suburbs--Summerlin, Paradise, Enterprise, Henderson, Boulder City, etc.--are made up of families looking for something a little more family-friendly than a casino or a strip club, and a little less dull than golfing (sorry to all the golfers, just my personal interjection there). Two million people, odds are you can find 40,000 (that's 2% of the metropolitan population, if you're restricting game attendance to that area) to go to a ballgame. Not to mention, of course, people coming from out of area, which is inevitable; yes, there ARE some diehards out there who will shamelessly make the drive, be it for a night or for a weekend or even a whole week.

Public transit, then, for a fan who isn't driving there? 10 bus stops in the immediate vicinity of the site.

But what's the draw for Arte?

Well, as we've already gone over, number one, there's a lot of land to develop. Number two, there's a ton of shopping already there, so the land he develops could be complementary to that, and he could use any spare acreage not used for the stadium itself to develop office space or anything of the like, as well as housing. Housing could be a big draw for Arte; this is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States. People always need a roof over their heads.

Number three, market monopolization. Currently, SIX teams--all five California teams (Angels, Dodgers, Giants, Athletics, Padres) plus the Arizona Diamondbacks, all split the state of Nevada in terms of marketing territory. I don't sense this being a HUGE issue, seeing as the Dodgers would probably not be too upset to see the Angels exit the LA market. The Giants and Athletics are currently embroiled in controversy of the San Jose market, so I doubt they'll want to incur another legal battle. The Diamondbacks already own the state of Arizona for marketing, so the likelihood that they contest the Angels here is slim. And the Padres have a monopoly on the San Diego market, which is 50% larger than the Las Vegas market, so chances are THEY won't put up much of a fight, either.

The only question mark with marketing is this: By going to Las Vegas, Arte does indeed take over the Nevada market. However, the issue, and subsequent battle, might come through Arte trying to cling to San Bernardino County, if he so wished; the county is the closest to Las Vegas out of the five immediate "Los Angeles market" counties (San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and Ventura). If Arte wanted to at least maintain his split of San Bernardino County, a battle with the Dodgers might ensue (although one would wonder how much the Dodgers would contest this, since, as I already mentioned, the Angels would be yielding their marketing in the other four counties listed).

Long story short, there's a ton of question marks here in terms of marketing. But the location is indisputably intriguing, at the very least.

So this makes for some nice food for thought, but is it interesting enough for you to bite? If not, we have one more site to explore.