Las Vegas Approves Contract for MLS Pursuit

Las Vegas MLS stadium

In a vote on Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council signed off on a contract that effectively revives the city’s push for an MLS franchise

The vote authorizes the city to award a contract of up to $80,000 to Inner Circle Sports, LLC, which will assist Las Vegas in developing a campaign to land a team. As was noted last week, this development marks a sign of renewed interest after the city’s previous push for a franchise came up short.

City officials were once pitching a plan to the MLS that called for a $200 million stadium to be constructed in downtown’s Symphony Park. That proposal was officially halted in February 2015, when MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed that the city was eliminated from contention for an expansion franchise in 2017 or 2018.

With this decision, some city officials are hoping that Las Vegas will get back on track with its pursuit. More from The Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The $80,000 contract covers an initial phase. If the city continues work with Inner Circle Sports beyond that, the contract would need to return for another council vote.

Councilmen Bob Beers and Stavros Anthony, who opposed the city’s last soccer stadium proposal, voted against the new contract on Wednesday. For the Symphony Park stadium proposal, Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian also voted no. Tarkanian said Wednesday she views this contract differently.

The company’s role will be to put together “a commercial message” designed to attract investors to partner with the city, said David Abrams of Inner Circle Sports.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman, a strong stadium proponent on the city’s last MLS bid, said last week she favors downtown Cashman Field as a possible soccer stadium site.

After announcing the MLS rejection in early 2015, Goodman promised to continue her push for professional sports, emphasizing soccer specifically, in Las Vegas. She continued to make that push at Wednesday’s council meeting, contending the timing is right and that city officials learned a lot from the last effort to draw an MLS team.

Even though Las Vegas was not mentioned among the 10 expansion candidates the MLS released in December, it has been making a stronger push for major sports venues over the last few years. The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights are set to debut at T-Mobile Arena this fall, and the city could soon learn the fate of its aggressive push for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

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