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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Trio of Star Athletes Invest in Las Vegas NLL Team

  • Steve Nash, Wayne Gretzky, and Dustin Johnson are investing in the Las Vegas lacrosse team.
  • The team is owned by Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai, and will launch in 2022.
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Sports in Las Vegas are expanding almost as quickly as the National Lacrosse League.

Sin City’s future NLL team, which will join the league in 2022, announced on Monday that Wayne Gretzky, Dustin Johnson, and Steve Nash are joining Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty owner Joseph Tsai as investors.

  • Nash, the Nets’ coach, is a co-owner of MLS’ Vancouver Whitecaps.
  • Gretzky previously owned 10% of the Phoenix Coyotes. He was an Edmonton Oilers  partner and executive from 2016 to May of this year, when he stepped down and signed a multiyear pact with Turner Sports to become a TV analyst. 
  • Johnson, Gretzky’s son-in-law, made $44.5 million over the 12 months ending June 4 in golf tournament winnings and sponsorships. This is his first foray into team ownership. 

Tsai — who is also an investor in the Premier Lacrosse League along with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft — paid around $10 million to launch the Las Vegas franchise, including the expansion fee and operational runway. 

The NLL has added teams in New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Halifax since 2019. The latest team continues Las Vegas’ growth as a sports city.

  • Since 2017, it has added the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights and the WNBA’s Aces, who will share Michelob ULTRA Arena with the NLL team.
  • The NFL’s Raiders moved to the city from Oakland in 2020.

Vegas is also viewed as a viable destination for MLS expansion and MLB relocation.

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