Las Vegas in the Mix for Pro Soccer’s Next Expansion
- Jul 24, 2014
By Alex Girda, Associate Editor
A major-league sports team has ranked high on Las Vegas’ wish list for years, but there is a hitch: the nation’s football, baseball, basketball and hockey leagues all seem to be satisfied with the number of teams in their lineups. The success of the Las Vegas Summer League has galvanized discussion regarding an expansion franchise to the city, but the league is cycling through a number of potential cities. In the wake of the FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil, soccer seems to be gaining traction with sports fans in the United States.
Major League Soccer is aiming to expand , and Las Vegas seems to be an ideal candidate. According to MLSsoccer.com, MLS deputy commissioner and league president Mark Abbott recently met with representatives of potential expansion cities, including Las Vegas. According to MKS officials, the league is holding preliminary discussions with a long list of potential new locations.
According to the source, Justin Findlay-led Findlay Sports and Entertainment is leading the charge to bring a new soccer team to Las Vegass. The league has made public its intentions of growing to as many as 24 teams by 2020. Since Orlando and Atlanta have already been awarded franchises for 2015 and 2017, respectively. That leaves one slot for the 24-team plan announced in 2020.
Earlier this year, Findlay announced plans for 24,000-seat stadium to be developed by Cordish Companies on the 61-acre Symphony Park. The open-ended facility would reportedly feature artificial turf, a retractable roof and air conditioning. The proposed project’s estimated cost ranges between $150 million and $200 million.That is considerably more than the $110 million cost of Orlando’s new stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2016,.