The death of Las Vegas’ latest Arena Football League franchise — the third such team to be sacked in 20 years for lack of local support — is not a reflection on the valley’s viability as a major league sports city.
On the contrary, the fringe football league’s Sunday decision to fold the Las Vegas Outlaws — one day after the team backed into the AFL playoffs despite finishing the season with 12 losses and only five wins — highlights the city’s familiarity with bigger stages and better products.
Las Vegas should have been done with second-tier sports a long time ago. The valley’s entertainment options and passion for big-time sports — driven by betting and residents’ roots in other markets — leave fans with no time for or interest in rinky-dink, fly-by-night franchises.
The proof that Las Vegas is ready for the big leagues was provided this year by billionaire Bill Foley, who’s very close to bringing an expansion National Hockey League team to a new arena on the Strip. Mr. Foley collected nearly 12,000 season-ticket deposits from residents, not hotels, to demonstrate that locals would turn out for games — something they wouldn’t do for the CFL, the XFL, the AFL and various other leagues.
On to the big leagues.