The NBA Summer League in Las Vegas set an attendance record in July. Photo credits: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

Orlando Summer League Closes, Setting Up NBA Summer League Extravaganza In Las Vegas For 2018

By ALAN SNEL

 

Las Vegas, you want the NBA?

 

You got it.

 

All of it.

 

The Orlando Magic has shut down its eight-team summer league operations and reports say the NBA clubs that played in Orlando will join the rest of the NBA teams in Las Vegas in July for an all-NBA 30-team extravaganza.

 

All of the NBA’s teams could be playing in the summer league in Las Vegas in July 2018. Photo credit: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

 

Orlando Magic spokesman Joel Glass told LVSportsBiz.com today that the Las Vegas Summer League offered games with fan crowds and an atmosphere closer to the feel of an NBA game than the summer league games in Orlando where the games were closed to the public and had only a few hundred people in the gym.

 

Glass said the Magic will be joining the NBA Summer League, which set an attendance record at the 2017 event at Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion.

 

Organizers use both linked venues to host games in July, with the atmosphere resembling the feel of spring training baseball with hoops fans getting a close look at young NBA players at an affordable price of $30 for adults and $20 for juniors for an all-day ticket.

 

Mike Newcomb, executive director of Thomas & Mack Center, welcomed the chance to have all the NBA teams set up shop in Las Vegas and UNLV in July 2018.

 

“Obviously (we’re) excited about the summer league news,” Newcomb said. He noted the facilities can accommodate the extra teams and games.

 

The Las Vegas Summer League gives fans a close look at future NBA stars. Photo credit: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

 

At this year’s event at Thomas & Mack and Cox Pavilion, the NBA Summer League set an attendance record with 127,843 fans from July 7-17, including a record championship game attendance of 10,304 when the Lakers defeated Portland to win the summer league title.

 

It’s no secret that MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren has been lobbying the NBA to have  a team play at T-Mobile Arena. In fact, during last year’s NBA Summer League in Las Vegas NBA Commissioner Adam Silver chatted with MGM Resorts officials about the concept of an NBA team in Las Vegas.

 

Silver, who believes that all sports gambling should be legal and government should regulate the sports-betting industry, does not oppose the idea of  an NBA team in Las Vegas. But LVSportsBiz.com believes Silver probably wants to see how the Las Vegas sports market performs for at least two years after the NFL Raiders join the NHL Golden Knights in 2020.

 

Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com

 

 

Alan Snel

Alan Snel brings decades of sports-business reporting experience to LVSportsBiz.com.

Snel covered the business side of sports for the South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Sun-Sentinel, the Tampa Tribune and Las Vegas Review-Journal. As a city hall beat reporter, Snel also covered stadium deals in Denver and Seattle.

In 2000, Snel launched a sport-business website for FoxSports.com called FoxSportsBiz.com.

After reporting sports-business for the RJ, Snel wrote hard-hitting stories on the Raiders stadium for the Desert Companion magazine in Las Vegas and The Nevada Independent.

Snel is also one of the top bicycle advocates in the country.

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