Las Vegas' written pitch will have to 'speak for itself' Print
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Friday, 13 April 2007 14:15
NBA Headline News

 LAS VEGAS (AP) -A written proposal seeking a pro basketball franchise for Las Vegas will have to speak for itself after Mayor Oscar Goodman and other officials weren't invited to make a personal pitch to NBA owners.
Goodman said Friday that he hoped, but never expected, NBA commissioner David Stern would invite him to make a presentation to the league's Board of Governors meeting April 20 in New York.
``It was a thought, but it was never a discussion,'' said Goodman, who often brings showgirls and an Elvis impersonator along when he travels to promote the city. ``My letter said if he wanted me to be there to let me know. It was not even a request.''
Goodman said he was satisfied that the NBA owners were being asked to consider Las Vegas.
``The letter speaks for itself,'' he said.
The proposal sent April 5 to Stern seeks a franchise, but does not offer to restrict betting on NBA teams.
The NBA commissioner has long said he was opposed to putting a franchise in Las Vegas as long as gambling on NBA teams was allowed.
However, during NBA All-Star game events in Las Vegas in February, Stern invited a proposal from local officials that would address his concerns. Many interpreted that as a sign of softening opposition.
The letter argues that Nevada's gambling regulations ``provide sufficient cause for the association to permit a franchise ... without concern of corruption or interference by unsavory individuals.''
It was signed by Goodman, Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid and Rossi Ralenkotter, the head of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority.
During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Stern declined to say whether the letter met his expectations on the gambling issue.
He described the Las Vegas proposal as a ``rather forthright and direct letter,'' and said it would be distributed to league owners.
Stern said he had not invited Goodman to make a personal pitch.
``I'd really rather be in a position to discuss that with my owners and make my recommendations for the first time to the owners,'' he said.
 

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