Don Logan knows Las Vegas as well as anyone.
For the past 40 years, the president and chief operations officer of the Aviators has guided the Triple-A franchise through the city’s complex market.
He’s kept the minor league team afloat while competing with Las Vegas’ other entertainment options. He’s watched other sports organizations — including 28 minor league franchises of other sports — come and go.
But the rapid changes Las Vegas has undergone during the past seven years — challenges UNLV is also facing — are unlike anything he’d experienced in four decades leading the Aviators. Logan called Las Vegas’ sports expansion “unprecedented.”
“I don’t know any market of any size that has seen that much change in that short amount of time,” Logan said.
Logan appreciates Las Vegas’ growth. He said he’s glad the city’s love for sports has been on full display. However, he also said the city isn’t as big as people think, which brings pros and cons.
Playing in Las Vegas means teams will always be fighting for the city’s attention, and Logan said sometimes he just has to accept the conditions won’t be perfect.
“It’s like weather,” Logan said. “You’d like to have a perfect night every night, but it doesn’t work that way.”
Logan and the Aviators continue attracting fans despite the new competition. They led the Pacific Coast League by averaging 6,910 fans per home game during the 2022 season, aided by the attraction of Las Vegas Ballpark.
Logan credited his experienced marketing and ticketing staff for the Aviators’ success. He said the organization puts a premium on retaining employees and maintaining a continuity among the staff. This creates an invaluable familiarity with the market and local relationships that Logan and the Aviators rely on to continue drawing in fans.
“I believe in the management style where you give people the responsibility and give them the tools to go do it,” Logan said. “Then get out of their way. You can’t micromanage.”
Logan also said the team has found success targeting the local market. He considers any tourists they attract as a bonus. Logan said the team has built and maintained a reputation in Las Vegas, valuing quality service, amenities and making deep community connections.
The organization knows which ZIP codes traditionally buy the most tickets, and the Aviators create partnerships with local businesses for group tickets. They also try to have real conversations with regular fans, taking the time to make everyone who comes through their gates feel welcomed.
“We need to worry more about how much we make, not how much we spend,” Logan said. “Because if we’re generous and thoughtful and accommodating, people see that and appreciate it.”