Our major league moment: The Las Vegas economy wins, too

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When they take to the ice Thursday night, the Golden Knights won't sell out the T-Mobile -- they'll overstuff it.

Through 43 games, they're at 104 percent capacity.

The team tells me they're still adding up their economic impact for the season, but the franchise has a $100 million payroll, and that spreads through the city.

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The team trickles down in other ways, too. On game night, MGM Resorts says its food and beverage sales soar at The Park by the arena. And just down the street, business booms at the Beer Park at Paris and impacts the economy of bartender Mekha Klimer.

Do you get better tips on Knights night? I asked her.

“Oh yeah. Give or take some nights. But most of those nights are a lot of fun. We get a lot of good people in, locals and even people from out of state, too,” she told me.

The Knights are just one team. The Raiders arrive in two years, and that stadium, with football and more, is expected to pump $620 million a year into the local economy.

At a chamber roundtable this morning, the theme was how pro sports will change this city.

“It's an opportunity to kind of look at the market differently from what has been the narrative of this city, which has been primarily focused on entertainment and the gaming community. Now you're adding sports into the mix,” says Kerry Bubolz, Golden Knights president.

And that could lead to the biggest boost of all, says Bill Robinson, an assistant professor of economics at UNLV’s Lee Business School.

“We should see millions and millions of dollars of economic impact. Businesses willing to come here and people willing to come here because these two teams are fundamentally going to change how we're viewed in the real world,” Robinson says.

In other words: Major League.

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