A proposed new Las Vegas MLS stadium is a step closer to reality after Cordish Cos. and Findlay Sports and Entertainment Group were given the green light to move forward with a development plan.
As you’ll recall, Cordish had a deal with the city of Las Vegas to develop a new downtown arena and entertainment district in the city’s Symphony Place area. But that plan was scrapped after AEG and MGM Resorts International announced plans for a a new privately financed, $375-million arena on the Strip. Cordish swiveled and pitched city officials on a new Las Vegas MLS stadium instead, proposing a $300-million, 24,000-seat stadium.
The city’s response to the swivel was swift, gaining approval yesterday. From the Las Vegas Sun:
In any case, today’s vote doesn’t commit the city to any expenses related to a stadium. If the council approves a financial plan, developers would have until Dec. 1 to come up with a development agreement.
Justin Findlay of Findlay Sports told the council that Major League Soccer wants a team in Las Vegas. “If we present them with the package we talked about, how do you say no to Las Vegas?” he asked?
The vote doesn’t commit the city to a specific funding plan: it only authorizes Cordish and Findlay Sports and Entertainment Group to move forward with planning. The project is on a very tight schedule: it gives the pair until September 1 to come up with a development/financing plan and then until Dec. 1 to land an MLS expansion team. There’s already some debate as to public subsidy of the new Las Vegas MLS stadium: some council members want to see no subsidy, while some warn that it could cost taxpayers $150 million up front and $8 million annually for the stadium. Plus, there’s been no stated plan for usage past 19 MLS games per year: it could also be used for football basically as a replacement for Sam Boyd Stadium. Landing the financing and MLS team before the end of the year will be a challenge, to say the least.
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