Steve Mack, new owner, Las Vegas 51s
Chris Kaempfer, new owner, Las Vegas 51s
Tom Warden, Executive Vice President, Howard Hughes Corporation
BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- A Wall Street Journal reporter looked at the AAA franchise in Las Vegas and asked: “What are the Mets doing here?” The headline was even more harsh -- “The Mets' Minor Disaster.” Desert heat and an inadequate facility are among the factors working against the Las Vegas 51s players as they prepare for the major league.
Nonetheless, new owners Steve Mack and Chris Kaempfer, perhaps blinded by the love of the game, have taken on the challenge of moving the franchise to Summerlin and rallying the community around the sport.
“A prized franchise can really bring the community together, and that’s what draws us to the excitement of what we see in the future,” says Kaempfer.
They can’t make the arid weather go away, but they do have a plan to correct the deficiencies of the 51s current facility, Cashman Field, a venue that has been referred to as “dilapidated.”
“The stadium that we’re playing in right now does have some challenges to it,” says Mack. “The stadium has some deficiencies that major league baseball insists be corrected, that the teams insists must be corrected. Things like indoor batting cages, a weight room that isn’t jammed into a storage unit.”
Tom Warden of the Howard Hughes Corporation represents the city of Summerlin in working to move the facility. He says locating the park in the family-centric burg makes sense.
“Everyone knows it’s the great American pastime,” says Warden. “It fits well.”