A new Las Vegas soccer stadium could receive some $56.5 million in subsidies from the city if an MLS expansion bid is granted, under terms of the deal approved by the City Council.
Once written off by many, the financial terms call for $25 million in direct stadium spending and another $31.5 million in infrastructure investments. The city would also contribute the downtown Symphony Place land — some 13 acres worth between $38 million and $48 million — and build a new parking garage for the team owners. The total cost of the 24,000-seat project, which could open as soon as 2017 if approved next year: $200 million.
As noted, the vote was a little surprising: On Oct. 1 the council directed staff to work on a new stadium plan that eliminated public spending on the project. Since then, Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Cos. have worked hard to land an MLS team, pitching league officials on the charms of Vegas and landing a final interview of sorts (along with Sacramento and Minnesota groups) with league leaders overseeing expansion. And with the chances of landing an MLS team rising, Councilman Bob Coffin switched his vote to support the public spending.
There is one big contingency: the financing won’t happen if Findlay-Cordish doesn’t land an MLS team. League officials are expected to decide on two expansion teams after the beginning of the year.
“We applaud Mayor Goodman and the Las Vegas City Council for approving the measure to support a public-private partnership to build a new soccer stadium in downtown Las Vegas,” said MLS officials in a press statement. “We look forward to continuing our discussions with the Cordish Company and Findlay Sports & Entertainment regarding a possible expansion team for Las Vegas.”
A final vote on the project is set for February.