In A Pitch They Can’t Duck, Legendary Tropicana Gets Crushed By Breaking Ball
The legendary Tropicana casino resort, once synonymous with the glitz and gambling glamour of the Las Vegas strip, is about to be demolished because of the city’s reinvigorated love for sports teams and online sports betting.
In the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) era of “toxic” illegal sports betting, Vegas was taboo for major sports teams because of the city’s identity as the gambling capital of the world.
But following the 2019 Supreme Court repeal of PAPSA, 30 of the US’s 50 states, among them Nevada, have now embraced online sports betting. (Although it should be noted that betting on sports was never illegal in Sin City).
And, in the wake of the online sportsbooks surge, a slew of sports teams, franchises and events–among them the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and Women’s National Basketball Association WNBA)–have flocked to the neon-lit capital of gambling.
Last week, for example, the city’s new NHL franchise, The Golden Knights, won the storied Stanley Cup, ice-hockey’s top competition.
(Ed. Yes they’re now hosting ice hockey in the middle of the desert. Only in America, or Dubai).
Now the Tropicana–built in 1957, once home to Frank Sinatra and his infamous Rat Pack, scene of the famous opening passage in the James Bond movie, “Goldfinger”, and celebrated Vegas icon–has been earmarked for demolition to make way for a US$1.5 billion (£1.17bn), 30,000-seater stadium to lure the Major League Baseball Oakland Athletics team from their current California home to the Vegas Strip.
Bally’s Corporation, which owns the hotel and casino, has already reached a deal with the A’s to assign nine acres of the 35-acre parcel to the stadium, the New York Times reported this week.
“It’s sort of an inevitable kind of process here in Las Vegas, where we’re in a constant state of evolution,” Geoff Schumacher, author of “Sun, Sin & Suburbia: The History of Modern Las Vegas”, was quoted as saying by the paper.
“But that doesn’t mean we can’t be a little bit sad about it.”
“The Trop is obviously iconic, but it is, really, in a lot of ways, economically obsolete,” noted another source who is close to the deal.
“It literally is part of the glitz and glamour of Vegas. But it hasn’t been that for decades. When it came to signing a deal to develop the site for a baseball stadium, it was a ‘no-brainer’.”
Either that. Or in the words of infamous long-gone Mafia don Frank Costello, who once had ties to the 300-room resort:
“An offer they couldn’t refuse.”