Baseball is my favorite sport. It’s the only organized sport I played growing up and the professional sport I attended most (Go Yankees!). Since I moved to Las Vegas I’ve wanted to get out to a Las Vegas 51’s game but have never made it. That will change this year since they’re now the New York Mets AAA affiliate and have some prospects I’d like to see play. After weeks of rumors the 51’s have officially been sold and may be moving down the street from me in the future.
The biggest new challenge for the new owners is to win public support for their proposal to move the 51s from 30-year-old Cashman Field near downtown Las Vegas to a new $65 million ballpark next to Red Rock Resort in Summerlin near Charleston Boulevard and the Las Vegas Beltway. The owners envision a ballpark called The Ballpark at Summerlin Centre with 8,000-9,000 seats on 16-20 acres to be donated by Howard Hughes Corp., which values the land donation at $40 million.
I think Cashman Field is a great location for the Las Vegas 51’s especially now that downtown Vegas is having such a large business and residential expansion. Unfortunately the stadium is an ancient 30 years old and something needs to be done. Few things in Las Vegas remain the same for that long. There, seemingly, hasn’t been anything done until now to provide a new stadium for the players or fans. It’s understandable since previous owners, who also own The D, had their focus elsewhere.
The 51’s aren’t much of a tourist attraction to Las Vegas but the team does provide an affordable alternative to seeing a show and a good excuse to go to downtown Vegas. Paid attendance was about 4,500 but fewer people actually went to the games. This won’t have a huge effect on business downtown but it will have an effect.
I’m 50/50 with the Las Vegas 51’s moving to my hood. I love baseball but don’t like the idea of giving families another excuse to clog things up in my corner of suburbia. The 51’s will probably move here and I’ll enjoy the games because I can.
photo: 1 blue jays way