Mark Davis has agreed to purchase the Las Vegas Aces of the W.N.B.A. from MGM Resorts International, a transfer which will elevate the visibility of the group, which arrived within the metropolis three years in the past. Davis can also be the proprietor of the N.F.L.’s Raiders, who simply completed their first season in Las Vegas after relocating from Oakland.
The phrases of the deal weren’t introduced by the 2 sides, and the transaction have to be reviewed by the W.N.B.A. and authorized by the league’s board of governors, a course of that would take weeks.
The Aces, led by A’ja Wilson, the league’s reigning most dear participant, misplaced to the Seattle Storm within the 2020 W.N.B.A. finals, which have been contested in a bubble setting in Bradenton, Fla.
Davis is an Aces season-ticket holder and has usually sat courtside at house video games at Mandalay Bay Events Center, which is owned by MGM, for the reason that group arrived in Las Vegas in 2018. On a convention name with gamers Thursday, Davis gave out his cellphone quantity and mentioned he needed to hear their concepts for the way to finest design a coaching facility, in accordance to Jim Murren, the previous chief government of MGM Resorts International.
“He’s passionate, he’s going to invest in the team, practice facilities, training facilities and propel the team further,” Murren mentioned.
The Aces, who’re coached by the previous N.B.A. star Bill Laimbeer, arrived in Las Vegas after MGM purchased the group in 2017 and moved it from San Antonio, the place the group had performed since 2003 because the Silver Stars and the Stars.
A spokesman for the group declined to say how a lot MGM had paid for the franchise. Murren mentioned that W.N.B.A group transactions usually embody a mixture of money and a notice, the worth of which is predicated on numerous efficiency metrics.
Calls to Davis’s spokesman with the Raiders weren’t returned.
In an announcement, George Kliavkoff, the president of Entertainment and Sports at MGM Resorts International, mentioned that “Mark is a longtime champion of women’s basketball, and we believe he is the right person to lead the Aces into a new era.”
Davis seems to be the primary N.F.L. proprietor to purchase a serious stake within the W.N.B.A. Several different groups share a principal proprietor with the N.B.A. group of their market, together with the Liberty with the Brooklyn Nets, and the Minnesota Lynx with the Timberwolves.
The Aces are simply the newest skilled sports activities group to have arrived in Las Vegas lately. The Vegas Golden Knights of the N.H.L. started enjoying on The Strip in 2017 and went to the Stanley Cup finals of their inaugural season. The Raiders have been lured from Oakland, partly by $750 million that Clark County offered to assist pay for Allegiant Stadium.
The N.B.A. has held a summer league in Las Vegas for more than a decade.
At a news conference in December, N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver stopped short of saying that expansion was looming but acknowledged that his 30-team league had begun to “dust off some of the analyses on the economic and competitive impacts of expansion” after a difficult year financially for all sports leagues.
Seattle is widely regarded as the N.B.A.’s No. 1 target for either expansion or the relocation of a current franchise, with Las Vegas in the next tier of candidates. To join the league, a new franchise would have to pay an expansion fee that could reach $2 billion.
Marc Stein contributed reporting.