The city Danny Ocean called “America’s Playground” has never had an NFL club.
That doesn’t look like it’s changing any time soon.
Asked Friday whether Las Vegas could support a professional sports team, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he hadn’t talked to the city about the prospect of a pro football team.
“I can’t speak to other sports, for sure,” Goodell said, according to a league-issued transcript of his remarks. “I certainly can’t speak even to the NFL because I haven’t had any dialogue with officials in Las Vegas about how that could happen successfully for Las Vegas and for the NFL.
“A stadium would be a big component to that. I’m not sure that exists right now. I do understand the passion of the fans in Las Vegas and their interest in football.”
Even if Las Vegas had an NFL-caliber stadium, the league might have qualms about playing in America’s capital of legalized sports betting. And a stadium — which would likely be a billion-dollar project — wouldn’t get built without a tenant.
Ultimately, it’s possible the NFL might not see much upside in the Las Vegas area, which would rank among the smallest TV markets in the league.
With multiple new arenas well-suited for basketball or hockey planned in Las Vegas, an NHL or NBA club landing in the city seems far more likely than an NFL team taking up residence.