The procession traveled solely a block down the Las Vegas Strip — from Caesars Palace to a stage arrange throughout from the Bellagio fountains. Nevertheless it was the fruits of a 117-year journey for a metropolis disadvantaged of its personal skilled sports activities group till 2017.
The Las Vegas Aces introduced Las Vegas its first major-league championship ever on Sunday, after they beat the Connecticut Solar 78-71 in Sport 4 of the WNBA Finals in Phoenix. And two days later, they paraded the trophy by way of an exuberant hometown crowd to show it. Hundreds of screaming revelers lined Las Vegas Boulevard in full Aces gear for the celebration.
The Aces made a grand entrance on their double-decker tour bus. Staff ahead and 2022 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson held the trophy excessive as her teammates and group proprietor Mark Davis seemed on with delight.
“Las Vegas, I can’t thanks sufficient for the way a lot you rallied behind myself and my teammates,” Wilson mentioned as soon as she received to the stage. “We did this one for y’all. I’ve received a few of the finest teammates on the planet, I imply that.”
Virtually Solely Counts in Horseshoes
Earlier than the Aces, solely the Vegas Golden Knights hockey group got here near clinching the highest honor for Sin Metropolis in an expert sport, getting so far as the Stanley Cup Finals on the finish of their inaugural season in 2018.
“It took a gaggle of girls to convey the primary championship to Las Vegas,” mentioned Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, who declared it “Las Vegas Aces Day” within the state and likewise introduced the group with a key to the Las Vegas Strip.
“We’re so pleased with these girls for what they did — not simply on the courtroom however off the courtroom,” Sisolak mentioned. “They’re function fashions for our group.”
Solely the Starting
The push to draw main league sports activities groups to Las Vegas started in earnest with an unsuccessful bid for the Montreal Expos in 2004. Working in opposition to Las Vegas on the time was the presence of legalized sports activities betting, which was frowned upon by many league commissioners. Questions additionally surfaced about whether or not Las Vegas’ 1.6 million inhabitants was sufficient to help a major-league sports activities franchise.
Within the 18 years since, all such questions on Las Vegas have evaporated. Las Vegas’ inhabitants has doubled, and the Golden Knights have performed to packed homes since 2017 — and the Las Vegas Raiders since 2021 — and not using a sports activities betting scandal.
Talks are at the moment underway to land groups from the NBA, MLB, and MLS. However no matter championship trophies athletes will convey house to Las Vegas sooner or later, the Aces will at all times be the primary to have performed it.