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.
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.
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