Reggie Jackson part of group trying to buy and move a team to Vegas
OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Reggie Jackson part of group trying to buy and move a team to Vegas
| By yc2578 on Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 08:22 am:|
Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson has emerged as the front man for a group of wealthy investors attempting to bring major league baseball to Las Vegas.
The former baseball star, known as Mr. October for his stellar postseason performances, met with Mayor Oscar Goodman on Monday to seek support for the group, which hopes to buy a struggling franchise from another market and relocate it here.
Jackson and Goodman met for a 90-minute lunch at the Las Vegas Country Club.
"We are aligned with what our dreams are," Jackson said following the meeting. "I had a dream. That dream is to engage in ownership in some way."
While Jackson, 58, declined to reveal the names of the investors he is representing, he arrived at the meeting with Marty Burger, executive vice president of New York City-based developer The Related Cos.
Related, which has an $8 billion portfolio of properties, is the firm the city has chosen as master developer of its prized 61-acre Union Park parcel downtown, where Goodman envisions an academic research center, performing arts venue and possibly a new City Hall. One of the three versions of plans Related officials are drawing for the property includes land for a proposed baseball stadium, an idea the mayor has endorsed.
Related spokeswoman Dana Pretner said Burger was at the meeting to introduce Jackson to Goodman.
Goodman, who also declined to name the investors Jackson represents, said he has spoken with two members of the group and is confident they have the financial capability to acquire a team.
"They're definitely the real deal," Goodman said. "Mr. Jackson has a real drive to bring baseball to Las Vegas."
The mayor said he supports Jackson and offered him any assistance he could provide, but did not discuss with him specific teams Jackson may be pursuing or possible Las Vegas stadium financing issues.
But the mayor's comments afterward suggested the group is talking to league officials and getting encouragement.
"(Jackson) indicated that he was next in line for a team," Goodman said.
Jackson, a part-time Las Vegas resident, has long aspired to become the first black owner of a major league baseball team. In the late 1990s, he assembled an investment group that made a failed bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, he is not bidding for the Montreal Expos, who are owned by the league. An agreement to move the Expos to the nation's capital and rechristen them the Washington Nationals remains in jeopardy over city officials' reneging on a stadium financing plan. The league is waiting until its contract with Washington expires Dec. 31 to say whether it will look elsewhere to relocate the Expos.
Goodman confirmed that Monday's meeting was at least the third time he has talked to Jackson about landing Las Vegas a big league franchise.
Jackson and two of the investors in his group called Goodman to discuss a possible bid on the morning of Dec. 9, the day the Review-Journal revealed Goodman had met in his office with executives from the Florida Marlins, one of four big league teams reportedly considering relocating.
Jackson and Goodman were hesitant to reveal details of Monday's lunch meeting.
"We talked a little bit about baseball and exchanged ideas," Jackson said.
Asked if he was interested in bringing a baseball team to Las Vegas, Jackson said, "We are in Las Vegas for lunch. I met with the mayor and he bought. We did talk about other cities, but he didn't offer to buy for them."
Jackson went on to emphasize that neither he nor Goodman can do anything to acquire a team or move a team to Las Vegas without baseball's blessing.
"Nothing happens without the approval of Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball is the director. Nothing happens for Oscar or me or the people interested in working with me until (MLB) hands us the OK or the permission to make it happen," Jackson said.
While the identity of the investors remains unclear, Jackson's name first surfaced publicly in connection with the effort to lure a baseball team to Las Vegas in a Sunday column by Las Vegas Sun editor Brian Greenspun, also a multi-millionaire developer.
The subject of the column was Greenspun's predictions for the next year. His first prognostication concerned Goodman's efforts to bring a pro baseball franchise to Las Vegas.
"Sometime in 2005, I predict Las Vegas will move to the top of the list, and the man who will head that effort will give this town a winner long before he fields a team. Someone, say, like Reggie Jackson. Reggie loves baseball, loves Las Vegas and loves the idea of being the first African-American owner of a major league baseball team. How's that for a great Las Vegas story?"
Goodman declined to say if Greenspun was a member of the investment group, and Greenspun did not respond to messages left on his cell phone or reply to e-mails seeking comment.
Jackson's foray into Las Vegas baseball talks follows nearly two weeks of events that city officials say have improved the city's chances of landing a baseball team, including a positive article in Sports Illustrated, the mayor's barnstorming appearance at the league's winter meetings and the meeting with Marlins officials at City Hall, which has fueled relocation rumors in Florida.
The mayor said Monday he will continue his aggressive push to bring a team here, likening his methods to those one would use to approach a potential paramour.
"All I've seen are some pretty legs on a girl in a bar. I'm thinking of what line I'm going to use to pick her up," Goodman said. "We have an awful lot of wooing to do."
| By tekgraf on Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 10:53 am:|
This is BS!
MLB may be a lot of things, but they will not relocate another team any time soon. Especially to LV.
And besides, given MLBs track record, I doubt very seriously they will sell a franchise to a minority. Hell, they harrassed Marge for years because she threatened their good ole boys club.
| By rono on Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 09:12 pm:|
LV is the best choice, better than DC. It will happen very fast. Only hang up there will not be massive public funding since they don't need it but MLB wants it.
D.C. set a bad precedent by using public money to help build a stadium. MLB will now tell Oakland to put up or shut up. Oakland's pockets are empty. Then, it's bye-bye A's. Bud will get his shiny new ballpark for the A's, but not here.
| By eyleenn on Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 11:13 pm:|
I find it hard to believe that baseball will allow a major league baseball team to play there. It wasn't too long ago that Pete Rose was banned from baseball, and I think we all know why he was banned. Las Vegas is a gambling town. Baseball and gambling just don't work. And who lives in Las Vegas? Many of the people there are not even natives so they won't really have any sentiment for a Las Vegas team.
| By rono on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 10:13 am:|
The Giambi's live there as well as Reggie part time.
| By eyleenn on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 01:17 pm:|
Tourists don't go to Vegas to watch baseball. I have serious doubts that there are enough full-time residents to support a major league team.
Wasn't Reggie part of one of the groups that tried to buy the A's in 1998/99?
| By rono on Friday, December 24, 2004 - 11:25 am:|
I have always thought that the Vegas powers would not want baseball or other major sports because they would take people out of the casinos for 3-5 hours. The thinking has changed. Vegas has become an entertainment and party venue. Many people who go there are not big gamblers but go there to party. One of the prime sites for a new stadium is behind the Paris hotel. The feeling is that it would keep people on the Strip rather than having them go 3-4 miles away to some nonentertainment venue. The other site is downtown. They are trying to improve the attraction and image of downtown . A stadium there would bring more people there for the local hotels, casinos and entertainment spots. They are expecting tourists to make up half the fan base.
"They're expecting tourist to make up half of the fan base"
Well if that is the case, and a team does move there, than I guess there will be alot of fans of the opposing team in the las Vegas stadium, rooting against the Las Vegas team.
| By eyleenn on Friday, December 24, 2004 - 04:53 pm:|
Not much of a home field advantage there.
| By sprstoner on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 02:36 pm:|
i live in veegas, and we do have some a's fans... i only know a few but i am one.. i would love to see the team come here.... we have 1.6 mill residents in the vally plus a ton of tourist. one of the casinos was really fighting for the expos, so they want a team here also... as for the gambling, it is our gaming commision that keeps all professional sports honest in this country. when something stranges comes up the gaming commission is on it and fast... usually by extreme fast movments in the lines.
| By bubba69 on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 12:17 pm:|
well, on my trip to Las Vegas last week there is real intrest by some very big casino owners to get this done. Not just for Mlb but any big(NFL or NBA) team.
I met several top politico's that are going to push hard and heavy for this. Not meaning anything will happen but they are going to try. The one team that kept being brought up was our beloved A's. They have the cash and they have the land...But will MLB go for it...I do not think so!
| By dansward on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 12:35 pm:|
I can't believe that tourists would be a viable target for a MLB team in Vegas. The locals would have to support the team. But the population is growing and more retirees are heading there. So who knows?
| By bubba69 on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 02:32 pm:|
They are building a break neck speed....I could not believe how much growth from that last time I went there in the Summer!
| By simplefan on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 03:52 pm:|
Is there betting in baseball? HA
The Mayor of LV is mob tied and has made his stance!
Let there be MLB in LV! It will happen like it or not and PEOPLE will go to see a game!
| By bubba69 on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 08:16 pm:|
They got over 5K at a minor league hockey game the day after xmas at the Orleans...