A group is seeking to place a USL franchise in Las Vegas, and is targeting Cashman Field as a home venue for the team.
Las Vegas is mulling a proposal that would allow a USL expansion franchise to play in the city, starting with the 2018 season. Las Vegas Soccer, LLC, which is owned by Brett Lashbrook, has submitted its proposal for a lease agreement for the franchise at Cashman Field, the current home of Minor League Baseball’s Las Vegas 51s.
Cashman Field has been the subject of discussion as it pertains to both baseball and football. Citing its outdated conditions, the 51s are seeking to build a new ballpark elsewhere in the Las Vegas area, with Summerlin being reported as an option. Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman has also suggested that the site be used for the construction of a new stadium for the relocating Oakland Raiders, though reports have indicated that the Raiders are setting their sights elsewhere in the city.
Officials are emphasizing that discussions of USL action at Cashman Field are still in the preliminary stages, but the terms would call for the USL franchise to share the facility with the 51s. The city, which is expected to take over ownership of Cashman Field from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority by June 1, would still have some flexibility if certain alternate uses for the site arises, but the USL club could remain at the venue over the long run. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The proposed USL lease agreement would allow the city to opt out if the Raiders decide to locate their stadium or practice facility at the site, if MLS awards Las Vegas an expansion team or if city leaders decide to tear down the existing Cashman facilities.
Under the proposal, the 51s, who have been pursuing a new stadium, would remain the primary tenant for the duration of their lease, which includes selection rights for home games. If the 51s relocate, the USL team would become the primary tenant.
Lashbrook’s letter says in order for a proposed USL expansion team to begin using Cashman next year, the lease agreement would need to be finalized by the end of spring 2017 “to ensure the league has enough time to properly launch the new professional soccer team and ensure its long-term success in the Las Vegas market.”
If an agreement is reached, the team would shoulder the cost of running soccer operations at Cashman, [city economic development director Bill] Arent said.
Cashman Field originally opened in 1983. If the proposal comes to fruition, Las Vegas would be the latest city to host MiLB and USL action in the same facility, with Tulsa, Harrisburg, Reno, and Louisville among the cities doing so in 2017.
Image courtesy Las Vegas 51s.