MGM Hopes to Host NBA, NHL
In an investor call, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle (l.) revealed that the company has put feelers out to host NBA, NHL and other competitions when sports return and casinos re-open. The games would be televised but with no fans. Leagues would only confirm the discussions.
In what seemed like an offhand remark during MGM Resorts first-quarter earnings call April 30, CEO Bill Hornbuckle acknowledged that the casino behemoth has considered offering its facilities to host the NBA, NHL and other sports.
“We have been in dialogue with leagues and other sporting activities around televised-only events,” Hornbuckle said.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said, “We have been approached by multiple properties regarding potential options for hosting NBA games, including MGM. We have not engaged in any substantive discussions.”
MGM officials declined further comment, and completing the season in Las Vegas is just one of many scenarios being bandied about, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
When it comes to the basketball or even hockey, Mandalay Bay comes to mind. But MGM Resorts has more than a dozen resorts at its disposal in Las Vegas, most with some sort of event center.
For sportsbooks, it could be a match made in heaven.
“Like many sports fans, DraftKings is eager for the return of major sports leagues across the U.S. Whether games are played in empty venues or at neutral locations, we are committed to providing our customers with the ultimate gaming experience they’ve come to expect. In the meantime, the safety and well-being of the nation’s sports fans remains priority,” Johnny Avello, DraftKings sportsbook director, told GGB News.
A proposal sent to the NBA and WNBA detailed MGM’s plan to host the leagues. It would allow players to have their families with them, along with league and broadcast media employees. All would have access to amenities including gambling.
The centerpiece revolves around Mandalay Bay, which has 4,700 rooms combined between the Four Seasons and the Delano. The setup is connected by an enclosed walkway to the Luxor hotel, where MGM service staff such as housekeepers and caterers would live.
The New York Times indicated that 24 basketball courts could be built in Mandalay Bay’s 2.1 million-square-foot convention center. Of those, five would highlight televised games.
The NBA has held its annual G League Winter Showcase at Mandalay Bay Convention Center the past two Decembers.
MGM hired a health and safety consultant as an adviser to ensure the proper medical testing and oversight is provided, the Times reported.