When it comes to attracting pro sports, Las Vegas isn’t much of a gamble anymore – Los Angeles Times

When the idea of the NHL coming was still a punchline to jokes about ice existing here only in drinks, an exploratory ticket drive for a possible team rang up 9,000 season-ticket deposits in a month.

Last September, three months after the NHL granted its 31st franchise to a group led by businessman Bill Foley, the new Las Vegas team decided to cap season tickets at 16,000 to leave some seats for single-game purchases at glitzy T-Mobile Arena.

The NBA Summer League, a sleepy, six-team event in its 2004 debut here, drew 24 teams to Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion this month and set single-game, tournament and championship-game attendance records.

Thousands of fans waited outside in triple-digit heat to get a glimpse of future stars while a who’s who of marquee players sat courtside. Among them was LeBron James, apparently as intrigued as everyone else by dynamic Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

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