Vegas may yet be home to a soccer-specific stadium but it will come at a price.
[RELATED: MLS to Sin City?]
The back and forth between developers and city council members over the past few months have seen the plans take a big hit and the project has been delayed massively.
However, on Wednesday the deal to house a soccer stadium downtown, which would potentially be home to a Major League Soccer franchise, took a step forward.
According to Fox 5 in Vegas, council members voted 6-1 in favor of moving the process ahead to a final vote in December but there is one significant change in the process: the vast majority of the $200 million project will have to be funded privately.
The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports and Entertainment group pitched their downtown stadium plans to council members on Wednesday but met plenty of opposition when asking for $50 million of private funds to help make the new soccer stadium a reality.
That was way down from the initial fee of $115 million the potential developers had initially asked for. Here is an account from Fox 5 on what went on during the council meeting:
During comments among council members, a division began to take form with prospective votes leaning toward a “no” on the stadium’s funding terms. Though it looked like the project was about to die, Councilman Ricki Barlow motioned for the council to approve the term sheet while allowing developers to reduce or eliminate public money before the final vote. The vote motion was OK’d, 6-1. A final vote on the stadium is slated for December.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced changes to the city’s financial commitment to the stadium, which reduced it from a cap of $115 million to $50 million. Private funds would make up the difference for the 24,000-seat stadium.
So, basically, the developers must drastically reduce their demands for $50 million of public funds or get rid of that request entirely and fund the venue themselves.
Major League Soccer have already commented on the situation in Vegas as senior executives are said to be monitoring the situation closely. If the Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports and Entertainment can fund this stadium, or find other people who will help them do so, it will likely get off the ground and another potential MLS expansion franchise could pop in Sin City.
Let’s get this straight though, without a MLS team promised to Vegas, this stadium doesn’t get built. So, between now and December expect plenty of talks to go on behind the scenes between the group in Vegas and MLS.
Money talks. Enough of it will get you a soccer stadium in the entertainment capital of the world.