MLS informed Las Vegas officials that an expansion bid for Sin City wouldn’t be accepted by the league, leaving Sacramento and Minnesota as prime candidates to land teams in 2017 and 2018.
And while city officials may look at some sort of multiuse facility at the downtown facility site, the letter from Commissioner Don Garber means a $200 million, 24,000-seat Vegas stadium plan from Findlay Sports and Entertainment and The Cordish Cos. is effectively dead. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“Given the timing of our expansion rollout and the uncertainty as to when we might be able to move forward in Las Vegas, we are no longer considering Las Vegas as an expansion market until after 2018,” Garber wrote to Mayor Carolyn Goodman.
In an interview from New York, MLS President Mark Abbott said there was “no one factor” in dropping Las Vegas from consideration.
Now, this doesn’t mean pro soccer is dead in downtown Vegas: Mayor Carolyn Goodman says she still wants to pursue a pro facility, but with Findlay Sports and Entertainment officially withdrawing a bid for an expansion team, it’s unclear whether a facility, say, for an NASL team could be in the works:
“I would continue to support major league sports, in particular, soccer,” Goodman said after announcing the MLS rebuff. “I will keep fighting, as long as I breathe.
“I haven’t really spoken to (Cordish),” she continued. “I don’t know what their appetite is.”
With Las Vegas out of the picture — at least in this next round of expansion — the path is cleared for Sacramento and Minnesota to land an expansion franchise when they are awarded later this spring.
RELATED STORIES: Councilman vows referendum on new Vegas MLS stadium; Las Vegas soccer stadium subsidy approved; Could AEG be key to Vegas MLS hopes?; Council approves new Las Vegas MLS stadium–with no public funding; Findlay: Las Vegas could land MLS expansion team