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Mark Davis building Aces training facility in Henderson

Updated February 16, 2021 - 9:29 pm

Mark Davis, who recently purchased the WNBA’s Aces, is planning to build a training facility for the team in Henderson.

Slated to be located on Raiders Way between the Raiders headquarters and the Raiderettes facility in Matter Park, the 50,000-square-foot facility will house the Aces’ practice facility, offices, training room and lockers. The land is owned by Matter Real Estate Group, which developed Matter Park.

“So that they have a home,” Davis told the Review-Journal. “They’ve broken ground, but they haven’t started putting up the walls or anything yet.”

Davis, who also owns the Raiders, expects the training facility to be completed in March 2022.

Having a new facility for the Aces was important to Davis. He said he wasn’t going to buy the team unless he was able to secure a deal.

“When I started working on purchasing the Aces, I wasn’t going to do it unless we could find a permanent home for them,” Davis said. “Right now they practice over at UNLV, their offices were at MGM, then at an airplane hangar down by the (McCarran International) airport. They were pretty spread out … So it was very important to me that if I was going to take over the team I would give them a home.”

The team will continue to play at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Mandalay Bay for at least this season. After this season, Davis said, “all options will be open. But we’re grateful to MGM. They have a wonderful facility there that they upgraded when they got the Aces.”

A season ticket holder to Aces games, Davis said the chance to take over the team started as a joke between himself and MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle, who sat next Davis during Aces games.

“Just going to games and small talk, I told him that one of the things that they should do is pay the women some more money … and he said, ‘If you think they should make more money, why don’t you just buy the team and you pay them,’ ” Davis said. “We laughed, and about a week later he (Hornbuckle) calls me and said he was serious about me possibly purchasing them from MGM and we started discussions at that point.”

Before he put in his bid to buy the Aces, Davis had a meeting with the reigning WNBA MVP forward A’ja Wilson to gauge the team’s star player’s thoughts about him taking over the team.

“When we were going to play the Chargers in L.A., I invited A’ja to go to the game so I could meet with her and explain to her my vision for the Aces,” Davis said. “She gave me the thumbs up. and it was all I needed. It really meant a lot to me.”

Davis has championship plans for the Aces, who made it to the WNBA Finals last season

“We’re going to try and win this one for MGM because they built a fantastic organization and brought the team here,” Davis said. “That’s what our goal is this season.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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