Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank thinks that Las Vegas is an interesting market to look at for an NFL home, but would like to see data showing that the city could sustain a franchise before giving the idea his support.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank thinks that Las Vegas is an interesting market to look at for an NFL home, but would like to see data showing that the city could sustain a franchise before giving the idea his support, according to ESPN.
The prospect of having a team in Las Vegas has come closer to reality in recent weeks, as Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has had serious discussion with the city about relocating his franchise there.
“I think whether or not there are enough people in Las Vegas to support a team is a question,” Blank said ESPN.com. “I haven’t seen the data on that to support it or not support it. It’s certainly a dynamic market. It’s a growth market. It’s got tremendous tourism, a lot of convention business. So it’s certainly a consideration. We’ll see what the facts bear.
“I want to see all the research on whether [Las Vegas] can support a franchise or not. It’s no different than any other city we look at.”
Las Vegas has a metropolitan population of just over two million people, on par with a number of cities that are home to NFL franchises, and is among the most popular tourist destinations among American cities.
The other major issue with Las Vegas as an NFL city is the presence of gambling, which is legal in the state of Nevada. However, Blank doesn’t see this as a factor that will hinder a team moving to the city.
“I think, obviously, we’d have to build a wall around the football operations and the franchise itself, which I think they can do effectively,” Blank said. “That [gambling] opportunity exists in any market.”