The Triple-A minor league baseball franchise in Las Vegas is undergoing an offseason of change. They switched parent clubs from the Mets to the A’s; they’re building a new ballpark in Summerlin, 10 miles west of Cashman Field, their home since the franchise’s days as the Las Vegas Stars beginning in 1983; and for the first time since 2001, the franchise will go by a nickname other than the Las Vegas 51s in 2019.
As has long been suspected, and documented by Chris Creamer back in June, the new team name, just announced moments ago, will be Las Vegas Aviators. The team is owned by the Howard Hughes Corporation, and as such, the name is an homage to Howard Hughes, the philanthropist, pilot, and subject of the film The Aviator. He set land-speed records in 1935, set the record for the fastest coast-to-coast flight in 1937, then one-upped himself in 1938 with the fastest circumnavigation of the globe.
“Hughes’ vision and ambition were unmatched,” said David R. Weinreb, CEO of the Howard Hughes Corporation, quoted on PR Newswire. “That, along with his imprint on Las Vegas where his legacy has helped shape the community for 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 a new chapter with a state-of-the-art stadium in Summerlin and a new major league affiliation.”
The logo features the face of a pilot with the distinctive desert outside of Las Vegas reflected in his goggles, with the letter V superimposed over the upper half. A cap logo features the letters LV framing the desert landscape in the background.
The Triple-A Aviators will debut in April against the Sacramento River Cats.