Published Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 | 2:19 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 | 5:37 p.m.
Las Vegas' minor league baseball team is in the midst of a renaissance.
Crews are completing its new home — the $150 million Las Vegas Ballpark in Summerlin, which will accommodate 10,000 fans.
It found a new Major League Baseball affiliate with the Oakland A’s.
And now, perhaps even more important to some fans, there's a new name, logo and colors they can identify with. The team, formerly the Las Vegas 51s, is now the Las Vegas Aviators. The brand is a homage to the namesake of the Howard Hughes Corp., which owns the team.
Hughes, a business tycoon with deep ties to Las Vegas, was an aviation pioneer. He died in 1976.
The name announcement was received Saturday afternoon to much fanfare from dozens of aficionados at Downtown Summerlin.
And the crowd, including young boys in ball caps, cheered loudly when the video presentation — which broadcast images of the Las Vegas Strip, fighter jets, and youth baseball — unveiled the name.
They then streamed into the team store to cop the navy blue, yellow and orange-schemed attire.
Soon after exiting the store, a married couple decked out in matching Christmas-themed, light-up sweatshirts switched out their Santa headwear for purchased "LV" caps. Rosette and Tommy Degennary said they were big baseball fans and, "loved," the new name, logo and colors.
“We were huge 51s fans — he’s the biggest Mets fan — and now we’re going to be the biggest ...,” Rosette said, “Aviators fans!” both exclaimed.
Former 51s season ticket holders, the couple said they’re ecstatic that the team is playing down the street from their home.
“Brand new ballpark, you have to be excited,” Tommy said.
Construction machinery rolled through the dirt field during a Saturday tour of the site, and workers spread cement on the seating areas.
For now, the building appears skeletal, and the dugouts and numerous suites are nothing but hollow spaces.
But construction is coming along.
Light towers have gone up and installation of an enormous screen — which is touted as one of the biggest in U.S. baseball stadiums — has commenced.
By completion, there will be spacious concourse areas and club suites, including 22 luxurious ones. Fans looking for unconventional seating could also rest on a grass berm, or splash in a 50-person-capacity pool with a direct view of center field.
The Las Vegas Aviators are four months and one day away from taking the field at Las Vegas Ballpark.