Sin City could soon have its own professional soccer team. Think about that.
On December 17 the Las Vegas City Council will vote on whether or not to approve plans for a new soccer-specific stadium to be built downtown.
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In November an ownership group fronted by Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Companies made a presentation to Major League Soccer’s expansion committee at league HQ in New York City, as Vegas is believed to be battling it out with Sacramento, San Antonio and Minneapolis for MLS’s next wave of expansion.
However the vote on a new stadium next week is crucial for Vegas’ hopes of having its first-ever major league sports franchise. The City Council released more details about the vote next Wednesday, the meeting will be streamed online from 12 p.m. ET, as Councillors will vote on part-funding of the $200 million venue. Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Companies would cover $143 million of the stadium project, while funding from the council would make up the rest. That is in stark contrast to initial figures which had asked the City Council to pick up $115 million of the costs. Nice try, guys.
Even if this vote is passed and everything else is in place, the stadium deal hinges on MLS awarding an expansion franchise to Vegas. As the council made abundantly clear in a statement.
“If the City Council votes to accept the term sheet on Wednesday, Dec.17, then the project is set to move forward pending Major League Soccer choosing Las Vegas for the expansion franchise that is available. If MLS does not award Las Vegas a franchise then the stadium would not be built.”
So, should Vegas be handed an MLS franchise ahead of its competitors? With a few friendlies being hosted in the Nevada city over the past few years, there’s been varying degrees of success. But there’s no doubt that given the fact that it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., Vegas could be a hit with casual soccer fans and could add a new dimension to the bulging entertainment industry.
The heat in the summer would be a big issue, but provisions are likely to be made for that in the new stadium with a roof and other ways around it, but would MLS really flourish in Sin City?
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