Las Vegas wants to replace Detroit as Hockeytown, USA.
Twenty-four years ago Las Vegas didn’t seem like a pro sports city. Sitting in Sam Boyd Stadium, watching the Las Vegas Posse play the Saskatchewan Roughriders, it all seemed surreal. Including the temperature, which hit 106 degrees Farenheit during pregame interviews with aspiring quarterback Anthony Calvillo.
It was the first CFL game played in Nevada. A lounge singer butchered O Canada, Dionne Warwick warbled through the U.S. anthem, horses were dumping manure around the Roughriders bench and the Showgirls cheer squad lingered nearby in their revealing uniforms.
Las Vegas beat Saskatchewan in overtime, even though Riders slotback Ray Elgaard tied the CFL receptions record. About 10,000 people were at the game, but the crowds kept dropping.
The only interest in pro sports came at the casinos, where they accepted a few bets on CFL games but thrived on the NFL. Major League Baseball thought about moving to Vegas and the NFL is en route. But the NHL — a winter sport —got there first! Well, second…