At the end of last year, Las Vegas officials publicly discussed the possibility of pursuing an MLS franchise, which it had previously done several years ago. In the earlier bid, Las Vegas worked with Findlay Sports and Entertainment and The Cordish Cos on a proposed stadium at downtown’s Symphony Place (shown above). In February 2015, MLS commissioner Don Garber announced that the league was turning down that package, but said Las Vegas could solicit a franchise in the future.
In December, it came to light that the City of Las Vegas could approve a contract with Inner Circle Sports, LLC to develop a plan for obtaining a franchise. That deal was finalized in January, but Tuesday’s deadline came and went without a submission from the city. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
In early January, the Las Vegas City Council had voted in favor of hiring a consulting firm for $80,000 to help win a bid for an expansion team. The announcement by the MLS locks in expansion candidates for the foreseeable future.
A 2015 bid for a MLS franchise, which was paired with a proposed $200 million stadium for Symphony Park, failed after the City Council was divided over the facility.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who has been leading the push for a new stadium, had favored Cashman Field, the home of the 51s, as a potential site for a new team and stadium. But no new bid was filed by the deadline.
At this point, there are several other stadium-related issues for Las Vegas to consider. Cashman Field is currently occupied by Minor League Baseball’s Las Vegas 51s, who are pursuing a new ballpark in Summerlin. Las Vegas is also involved in talks about a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders, though that proposal has encountered some funding issues.
Whether those matters affect the city’s pursuit of the MLS remains to be seen, but Las Vegas could find itself with some options down the road if it decides to make a run at a franchise.
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