Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Las Vegas Aces is the new name for the former San Antonio Stars, MGM Resorts execs provide details on team

Published on December 11, 2017

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Early Monday morning, the WNBA tweeted that a special announcement was scheduled for later that day from Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay, the new home of the relocated former San Antonio Stars.

The Aces are the second major professional sports team in Las Vegas, following the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. The NFL’s Oakland Raiders are expected to relocate to city by the 2020 season. The WNBA’s Aces will play 17 home games at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Mandalay Bay’s president and chief operating officer Chuck Bowling opened the event with a brief welcome followed by introductory comments from basketball analyst LaChina Robinson.

Robinson went down the list of stakeholders and guests in attendance at the event including:

  • Las Vegas Aces president of basketball operations and head coach Bill Laimbeer
  • WNBA president Lisa Borders
  • Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman
  • Las Vegas players Kayla Alexander and Moriah Jefferson
  • Former WNBA player Erin Thorn
  • Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak
  • MGM Resorts International president Bill Hornbuckle
  • Student-athletes from Centennial High School and Spring Valley High School
  • Pro athletes from other leagues including players from the Vegas Golden Knights

Borders followed Robinson on the podium, expertly providing a hype woman vibe to help get the attendees excited about the announcement.

“We are ecstatic to officially welcome the Las Vegas Aces to the WNBA family,” said Borders. “The Aces are already embracing the opportunity to develop a deep connection with the local community, and we can’t wait to watch them bring the WNBA’s brand of world-class basketball to their new home in 2018.”

Las Vegas’ mayor Carolyn Goodman, a transplant from the East Coast to the city who arrived out West in 1964, spoke after Borders. She commented that “welcoming the WNBA to Las Vegas is a natural progression” given the sports teams that have recently made the city home. However, she said her city stands out. “But trust me, there’s nothing like Vegas,” said Goodman.

Sisolak stepped up to the mic next. He lauded the efforts of team owner, MGM Resorts International, in bringing a WNBA franchise to Las Vegas to add to the portfolio of sports entities in the city.

Robinson came back to the podium to introduce MGM Resorts International president Bill Hornbuckle.

Hornbuckle revealed some nitty gritty details about team ticket prices.

Fans can make a deposit for Las Vegas Aces tickets through AXS.com. Deposits can be applied toward season tickets, multi-game packs, or single game tickets.

“This is a great time to bring women’s professional basketball to the Las Vegas community,” added Hornbuckle. “The WNBA represents some of the world’s best athletes and will showcase its incredible talent for our hometown fans. Young girls and boys in our city will undoubtedly gain dynamic role models for professionalism, teamwork, dedication and discipline.”

Laimbeer also took to the mic to express his excitement at being in charge of a new team and his role.

“Selecting a new name is an important and symbolic step,” said Laimbeer, a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year and four-time NBA All-Star. “Las Vegas has enthusiastically embraced us, and we’re incredibly excited for this opportunity. We have a strong roster driven to succeed, which makes this name an ideal choice. ‘Las Vegas Aces’ is a nod to the excellence, confidence and competitive spirit of our new hometown.”

The introduction of the team name and logo was conducted via a short video, confetti that streamed down on attendees and the unfurling of massive banners with the team name, logo and colors followed by photo ops on the stage.

MGM Resorts International is an S&P 500 company (NYSE: MGM). It received unanimous approval from the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors in October in connection with its purchase and relocation of the team from San Antonio to Las Vegas. The company is home to more than 20 world-class arenas, theaters and outdoor venues, selling 8 million tickets annually for live events from entertainment to combat sports.

This post is part of the thread: 2018 WNBA Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


 

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