Mr. Las Vegas … Airport? | Vegas Seven

This week’s Green Felt Journal is a serious investigative look into who, if anyone, McCarran Airport should be renamed for:

Fast-forward to 2017, and a name change for McCarran is back in the news. This time Reid isn’t proposing the switch, although he is part of the story: State senator Tick Segerblom wants to rename McCarran “Harry Reid International Airport” in honor of the recently retired senator. Segerblom wants Reid’s name on Southern Nevada’s chief air gateway because he “symbolizes modern Nevada.”

Read more: Mr. Las Vegas … Airport?

A few additional notes for context. First, I took a look at Wayne’s schedule on his website and I’ve got to say that my respect for him went way, way up. This is a very hard-working performer who, as I say in Seven, is bringing a little piece of Vegas to showrooms everywhere.

Second, here’s a link to a video of Wayne with the mustache I think merits our respect. Good click if you like mustaches or “MacArthur Park.”

I just want to make it clear that this isn’t a mean-spirited “lets mock Wayne and his fans” piece like this old show review, although I’ll grant that “butter-fed cobras in silk suits” is a pretty good line.

 

 

 

The NFL used to shun Las Vegas. Why is it moving a team there? – The Washington Post

I’ve written up a few thoughts for the Washington Posts’s Post Everything on why Las Vegas is suddenly acceptable to the NFL:

The gambling industry here and football have been seeing each other secretly since the 1960s. But Monday’s 31-to-1 vote by league owners to permit the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas with (for now) no stipulations about sports betting is a sign that the league’s and city’s status has changed from “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship.”

Read more: The NFL used to shun Las Vegas. Why is it moving a team there? – The Washington Post

Looking at the history of the NFL, Las Vegas, and gambling is fascinating. The league is steadfastly opposed to legal sports betting despite the fact that many fans bet on the game and it clearly drives a lot of interest. I went back to the Commission on the Review of the National Policy Toward Gambling (1975) to get some context. Pete Rozelle testified extensively then, and laid it out very well.

What I found intriguing is that he said he wasn’t that afraid of legal betting causing actual corruption in the game, but that it might cause fans to think that there was corruption. If they were able to place bets legally, he said, they’d demand Congress investigate every time they lost a bet. Rozelle’s opposition to legal sports betting was rooted in a deep mistrust of his own fans, who he thought would see a conspiracy behind every botched play or blown call.

Because Las Vegas was the country’s sports betting nerve center, Las Vegas was forbidden–although he mentioned that they did monitor Vegas betting lines when looking for irregularities.

So what’s changed? Well, you can read what I think here.

Lucky Dragon 3 Months in | Vegas Seven

This week’s Green Felt Journal looks at how Lucky Dragon has adjusted in its first 3 months of operation, and what it means for Las Vegas casinos:

The latest Las Vegas hotel casino to open, the Lucky Dragon, has been up and running for more than three months. It may not have the immediate landscape-altering impact of the Strip behemoths that preceded it, but the way the casino is running could have profound implications on how Las Vegas casinos do business in the future.

Read more: Lucky Dragon Casino’s Influence May Be Greater Than Its Size

Interviewing Dave Jacoby, he was really into the rolling chip program, so that became a big focus of the article.

ROH Stars on 15th Anniversary Show in Vegas Seven

If you’re a Ring of Honor fan, you should like this. In advance of this Friday’s PPV and Saturday’s TV Tapings, I’ve got interviews with three prominent ROH personalities: Adam Cole, the reigning ROH champion; Christopher Daniels, his challenger; and Joe Koff, ROH COO:

On March 10, the company, which bills itself as providing “the best wrestling on the planet,” is holding its 15th anniversary show. Available on pay-per-view for those who can’t make it to Boulder Highway, the show’s main event will feature “Almighty” Christopher Daniels, who wrestled in the first main event of the first Ring of Honor card, squaring off against world champion Adam Cole. Should Daniels prevail, the “Ring General” will capture his first ROH world championship.

Read more: Prominent Ring of Honor Stars Weigh in on Its 15th Anniversary Show

Here are the links to the interviews

Adam Cole

Christopher Daniels

Joe Koff

Three very different personalities, to say the least. It was great to ask each of them (roughly) seven questions and get their very different perspectives on this weekend.

Each of the three had one thing in common, though: a deep, deep passion for wrestling. These guys absolutely love what they do, and it shows.

If you are in Las Vegas, I highly recommend checking out ROH this weekend at Sam’s Town. And if you’ve got time on Sunday, FSW is running a show there that is sure to be excellent as well.

So far we’ve had a WWE event that saw Bayley capture her first women’s championship and the heartbreaking end to Chris Jericho’s Festival of Friendship. ROH is putting on two solid nights this week, and FSW and other local organizations are showing great talent too. It is shaping up to be a very good year for professional wrestling fans in Las Vegas.

Future Stars of Wrestling’s High Octane Event Didn’t Disappoint – Vegas Seven

This weekend, my write-up of FSW’s most recent High Octane taping made Vegas Seven:

The FSW Arena is small but well-suited to the drama of professional wrestling. It’s the same kind of larger-than-life characters you’ll see on TV, but quite literally up close and personal. The grapplers can taunt, slap hands with and snatch the signs of fans in the front row, but if you’re not ready for that kind of involvement, you can happily sit in the bleachers and just watch it all unfold.

Read more: Future Stars of Wrestling’s High Octane Event Didn’t Disappoint – Vegas Seven

I can’t say enough about how enjoyable this show was. It’s nice to be able to write about people who are passionate about what they do–on both sides of the ropes.

WWE’s Dean Ambrose and Renee Young: Power Couple – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Vegas Seven, my interview with Dean Amrbose and Renee Young is the cover story. Great pictures by Krystal Ramirez:

It’s a path that shows the world really does work in strange ways. Six years ago, Ambrose was getting forks jammed into his forehead until he was streaming blood and powerbombed on thumbtacks in front of a few hundred fans. This year, he won the business’ biggest prize in front of 19,000 Las Vegas fans and hundreds of thousands watching on the WWE Network. But what probably means more to him is that the intensely private Ambrose snared something even more valuable: a rewarding life and someone to share it with.

Source: WWE’s Dean Ambrose and Renee Young: Power Couple – Vegas Seven

This was a really fun interview to do, and I’m glad its gotten such a large reaction.

The NCAA Tourney’s Economic Impact on the Las Vegas Strip – Vegas Seven

This week in Vegas Seven, I also had a short article about how March Madness betting impacts Las Vegas:

In the past decade, the amount bet on the tournament has almost doubled. That’s more about the expanding popularity of sports betting itself, though, since the percentage of money bet on the tournament has remained close to 65 percent of all money bet at the books in March. Last year saw the biggest total bet on March Madness yet, and this year’s will likely be even bigger, but betting in general is increasing.

Source: The NCAA Tourney’s Economic Impact on the Las Vegas Strip – Vegas Seven

I looked at some numbers I hadn’t before, and the results, while probably not shocking, do confirm a few things I had suspected.

 

30 Years of Tribal Gaming – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a (very brief) look back at the legacy of the Cabazon decision:

February 25, 1987, was a milestone date for gambling in America. On that day, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, a verdict that paved the way for the rapid expansion of casino gambling on tribal lands in the decades to follow. Thirty years on, the Court’s decision still reverberates throughout the casino industry and Las Vegas.

Read more: 30 Years of Tribal Gaming – Vegas Seven

This is the topic for a few books, so it’s by no means comprehensive, but I thought that the anniversary was a good time to reflect on tribal gaming and Las Vegas.

Seven Year Switch: How Las Vegas Hospitality Has Changed – Vegas Seven

Not to fear. Yes, I talked about the past seven years of casinos in Vegas Seven this week. Yes, I began with a scenario from the book of Exodus. But no, I have not abandoned talking about gambling for a career in Biblical exegesis. This was just my way of trying to think more deeply about what the last seven years mean:

…this hasn’t turned into a soul-seeking tract. I only want to remind you how deep the idea of economic cycles runs in us. We understand that there will be good years and bad years, and that if we fail to plan ahead, the bad years will be tragic. If Biblical wisdom doesn’t do that for you, next time I’ll talk about Kondratiev waves.

Read on: Seven Year Switch: How Las Vegas Hospitality Has Changed – Vegas Seven

So it all seems good, but I’m not content to say “the Recession is over!” and leave it at that. As I discuss towards the end of the article, there is some evidence building that more fees has slowed or even halted revenue growth in other areas. It’s not a concern this quarter, but someday, it might be.

Future Stars of Wrestling’s High Octane Is an Intimate Spectacle – Vegas Seven

Last Sunday I went to see FSW wrestling. I wrote about it for Vegas Seven. Here it is:

It’s the kind of place that’s common enough around the Valley: a multi-use industrial space in a lowkey warehouse complex, maybe 50 feet across and 100 deep. But this isn’t an auto body shop or scooter wholesale dealer: it’s the FSW Arena, a place where, tonight, dreams happen.

Read more: Future Stars of Wrestling’s High Octane Is an Intimate Spectacle – Vegas Seven

As you can tell from the article, I really enjoyed the show. It’s challenging to write about–as you can see, words completely failed me for the main event–which makes covering it that much more fun. Barring the unexpected, I’ll be at the February 25 show, so expect to read more.