Mark Davis has agreed to purchase the Las Vegas Aces of the W.N.B.A. from MGM Resorts Worldwide, a transfer that will elevate the visibility of the crew, 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 accredited 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 useful participant, lost to the Seattle Storm within the 2020 W.N.B.A. finals, which have been contested in a bubble environment in Bradenton, Fla.
Davis is an Aces season-ticket holder and has typically sat courtside at house video games at Mandalay Bay Occasions Middle, which is owned by MGM, because the crew arrived in Las Vegas in 2018. On a convention name with gamers Thursday, Davis gave out his cellphone quantity and mentioned he wished to listen to their concepts for the way to finest design a coaching facility, in line with Jim Murren, the previous chief government of MGM Resorts Worldwide.
“He’s passionate, he’s going to put money into the crew, follow amenities, coaching amenities and propel the crew additional,” Murren mentioned.
The Aces, who’re coached by the previous N.B.A. star Invoice Laimbeer, arrived in Las Vegas after MGM purchased the crew in 2017 and moved it from San Antonio, the place the crew had performed since 2003 because the Silver Stars and the Stars.
A spokesman for the crew declined to say how a lot MGM had paid for the franchise. Murren mentioned that W.N.B.A crew transactions typically embrace a mixture of money and a observe, the worth of which relies on numerous efficiency metrics.
Calls to Davis’s spokesman with the Raiders weren’t returned.
In an announcement, George Kliavkoff, the president of Leisure and Sports activities at MGM Resorts Worldwide, mentioned that “Mark is a longtime champion of girls’s basketball, and we imagine he’s the appropriate individual to guide the Aces into a brand new period.”
Davis seems to be the primary N.F.L. proprietor to purchase a serious stake within the W.N.B.A. A number of different groups share a principal proprietor with the N.B.A. crew 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 crew to have arrived in Las Vegas lately. The Vegas Golden Knights of the N.H.L. started taking part in 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 season league in Las Vegas for greater than a decade.
At a information convention in December, N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver stopped short of claiming that growth was looming however acknowledged that his 30-team league had begun to “mud off a number of the analyses on the financial and aggressive impacts of growth” after a tough 12 months financially for all sports activities leagues.
Seattle is broadly thought to be the N.B.A.’s No. 1 goal for both growth or the relocation of a present franchise, with Las Vegas within the subsequent tier of candidates. To hitch the league, a brand new franchise must pay an growth charge that would attain $2 billion.
Marc Stein contributed reporting.