The Howard Hughes Corporation®, owner of the Las Vegas 51s®, the city’s professional Triple-A baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), and developer of the Summerlin® master planned community and the Las Vegas Ballpark currently under construction at Downtown Summerlin®, announced the team’s new name - the Las Vegas Aviators®.
The announcement of the new name included the unveiling of the team’s new logo and was made at a special event at Downtown Summerlin hosted by The Howard Hughes Corporation. The event was attended by close to 2,000 guests, including representatives from Minor League Baseball, former Major League Baseball players now living in Las Vegas, as well as season ticket holders, community leaders, and nearly a dozen little leaguers from throughout the valley.
Speakers and attendees included David R. Weinreb, CEO of The Howard Hughes Corporation; Kevin T. Orrock, President, Summerlin; Pat O’Conner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Minor League Baseball; Branch Rickey, President of the Pacific Coast League and grandson of baseball legend Branch Rickey; Don Logan, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Las Vegas Aviators; and Steve Hill, CEO, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
The name change comes on the heels of the team’s September announcement of its new two-year Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Oakland A’s and in advance of the spring 2019 completion of the Las Vegas Ballpark. The new, state-of-the-art Triple-A baseball stadium will serve as home of the newly named Las Vegas Aviators with the home, season and stadium opener slated for April 9, 2019.
The Aviators name officially went live today with newly branded merchandise and apparel available for purchase at the Las Vegas Ballpark Sales Center at Downtown Summerlin, as well as online at AviatorsLV.com.
According to Weinreb, the name change pays homage to the company’s namesake, Howard R. Hughes, Jr., one of the twentieth century’s most successful businessmen whose passion for aviation and legacy of innovation includes significant aviation-related firsts and accomplishments. In the H-1 Racer, a plane he designed and built, Hughes set the land speed record of 352 miles per hour in 1935. Hughes went on to set other records, including the fastest coast-to-coast flight in 1937 and the fastest circumnavigation of the globe in 1938, then acquiring and successfully operating major airlines and aviation companies.
“Hughes’ vision and ambition were unmatched,” said Weinreb. “That, along with his imprint on Las Vegas where his legacy has helped shape the community for more than three decades, makes the decision to name the team in his honor an easy one. The Las Vegas Aviators is the perfect name for the city’s oldest professional sports team, one that is now launching an exciting new chapter with a brand-new stadium in Summerlin and a new major league affiliation.”
The name, the Las Vegas Aviators, was chosen from hundreds of names submitted by the general public through a competition in which the community was invited to participate in the naming process. According to Weinreb, the Aviators was a popular name nominated by many Southern Nevadans.
“Everyone is excited about our new name,” said Don Logan, the team’s President and Chief Operating Officer, who has been with the franchise for 35 years. “With new ownership, our impending move into the Las Vegas Ballpark and our new professional affiliation, this is the perfect time to rebrand the city’s beloved baseball team. The Aviators was a popular nomination from our fans, and it’s a fitting new moniker for the city’s first professional sports franchise as we start our next exciting chapter.”