Images of new Las Vegas 51s Ballpark unveiled as case for legalized sports betting mounts

  • Las Vegas Ballpark shifts baseball team to Summerlin
  • Howard Hughes Corporation confirms stadium plans

Downtown Summerlin will become the new home of the Las Vegas 51s when the Howard Hughes Corporation completes a 10,000-seat ballpark for the team it acquired earlier this year.

An artist's impression of the new Vegas ballpark. Picture: HOK.
An artist’s impression of the new Vegas ballpark. Picture: HOK.

The Las Vegas Ballpark, named and approved by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors last week, will bring a second major sports team to the Summerlin district, where the Vegas Golden Knights are already located. The new stadium will also be an entertainment complex, with plans for dining, bars and even a pool within the development complex.

The $150m complex is due for completion in 2019.

Nevada sports betting to benefit from sports investment

Las Vegas is the casino and fun capital, known for its glitzy venues and extravagant atmosphere, but the city is also attracting a growing community of sports fans thanks to the development of existing teams and the acquisition of NFL’s Raiders, formerly of Oakland.

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Las Vegas is now home to top flight hockey, football and hockey, and a United Soccer League team will take up residence in the city from February 2018.

This is great news for sports fans who love to attend live matches. The planned baseball stadium will have room for 10,000 fans, matching the size of the Cashman Field soccer facility.

The new stadium continues a trend of sports teams coming to Vegas. Picture: HOK.
The new stadium continues a trend of sports teams coming to Vegas. Picture: HOK.

Summerlin’s City National Arena serves as a practice ground for the Knights, welcoming hockey fans for games, and doubles as an entertainment arena and community center which Summerlin residents can enjoy.

Together, the four sports team developments are expected to attract tourists as well as residents, and could be a major boost to the city’s economy.

Good news for sports betting industry?

Nevada is one of four states which are allowed to offer sports betting. Due to a historic exemption from the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, spectators and fans can bet on their favorite sports games at stadiums, through betting shops and via online betting outlets.

Due to concerns over the integrity of sports games where betting is allowed, major sports leagues have traditionally rejected Las Vegas as a viable location for top teams. However, the tide of opinion is now turning.

New Jersey will become a test case later this year when it takes its appeal against PASPA to the Supreme Court in a bid to open a legal sports betting market.

An artists impression of the outside of the new Las Vegas Ballpark. Picture: HOK.
An artists impression of the outside of the new Las Vegas Ballpark. Picture: HOK.

If successful, the state will set a precedent for other states, suggesting that an eventual nationwide repeal of PASPA is possible.

With several leading sports teams now located in Las Vegas, there is evidence that professional teams have no quarrel locating themselves and further investing in a jurisdiction that allows sports betting.

It could in fact benefit the sports industry with increased engagement from spectators who feel personally involved in the game through their ability to bet on it.

But some will still maintain that widespread sports betting opens the door to possible integrity issues.

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