If you visit the Las Vegas Arena web site you’ll see a time lapse presentation, over the last year and a half, of the future home of an arena that will change entertainment in this city forever. I vowed every week to take photos of the process, from different levels of the New York/New York parking garage, to document a process that this city has waited a very long time for. As a watched the video I thought about my other vow that I made. I would support, promote, defend, and support some more the National Hockey League calling Las Vegas home.
I have been fortunate enough to be part of radio shows from Las Vegas to Edmonton, Alberta, carrying the ‘Sin City’ flag. I’m not sure where the name ‘Sin City’ came from but probably from the ‘What happens Here…‘ folks. I’ve spent the 36 months educating people on the ‘real’ Las Vegas. Believe it or not, our kids do know how to count past 21. I’ve come to realize, through my Twitter battles with half of Canada, that people don’t agree with the thought of a franchise in Las Vegas because they don’t understand Las Vegas. They base their opinions on a dozen weak moments, at a club, with 12 girls who are all named ‘Cookie‘. They think they have all walked into the move set of ‘The Truman Show’ and can’t believe or wrap their minds around the fact that 2.2 million people actually live here. Most of us actually use our pay check to pay bills. Crazy, I know. We even have Girl Scout meetings, choir practice, take their kids to the park and battle the Walmart parking lot just like every other American. Truth is, if you drive a half mile off the Strip you won’t run into the glass of the snow globe. You’ll run into a population that deserves a professional sports team to call their own. It’s incredible how ignorant people are when it comes to the city that truly never sleeps. The questions that I have been asked over the years about my residency leads me to wonder if THEY could count to 21. I won’t even ask for them to spell it out.
“So, do you live here?”. No, myself and the strippers commute from Barstow every day just so we can gamble our lives away. “Where do people live?” Like there is some fenced in space that we are regulated to, that shuttles us to the various casinos, so we can deal blackjack or stand out front of Bellagio in our ‘Hello Kitty’ costume. I wanted the Minion job but the whole height requirement thing.
It’s amazing how people think that everyone that lives in Las Vegas works on the Strip. They get ‘bitter beer face‘ when I tell them that only 20% of the counties work force works on the Strip. Do you really think that 2.2 million people are needed to run the Strip? I’m going to be in Orlando in a couple weeks, and I guarantee, I will not care one bit where people live or if their water supply is stable, which I assume is.
I have quickly come to realize that people don’t have a clue what this city is about. The columns written by “writers” who form opinions based on a Google search is comical at best. My favorite is when they try to link us in with the Phoenix Coyotes. They conveniently choose not the link us in with the Anaheim Ducks who are about an hour closer. Mostly because it doesn’t prove their point. I will say it one more time, we are two different markets. The people of Phoenix have to decide whether they are going to spend their sports dollars on the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, or the Arizona Rattlers who do very well. Then sprinkle in all Arizona State sports. So I fail to see the comparison to a city who forces their hockey fans to drive to an area in the middle of no where to see a horrific product. Yes, I know the Cardinals play there too but opposing teams fans travel well. How on Earth is this like Las Vegas? The answer is it’s not!
They point to our population as being 600,000. That shows me right off the bat that they are not well researched. The city is zoned strange. Sahara Avenue North is the actual start of the city of Las Vegas. Everything South-ish is the the town of Paradise which is not included in the population figures. You would have to get county population numbers to be accurate in reporting population numbers. But, that would take time and understanding and who has that when your only goal is laugh, through words, at Las Vegas. The real joke is when I bring up their cities corruption. As a society we tend to point fingers at things to make us feel better about our own short comings. Which can be quickly revealed with a quick Google search of my own. News flash, sports wagering happens in every one of the current NHL cities. Illegally, I may add. So is the real problem with the large percentage of Illegal wagering or the small percentage of legal wagering in Nevada?. We point fingers at the the small problem hoping that no one will probe into our own bigger problems.
To say that it’s frustrating convincing people that Las Vegas is a real market with people who need the common ground that sports provides would be an understatement so let’s make a deal. If you don’t assume that our kids all grow up to be dealers and cocktail waitresses, I won’t wonder how you get a flat screen into your igloo, okay Canada?