A new Las Vegas USL team is one step closer to reality after the city came to an agreement to host the team at Cashman Field, home of the Las Vegas 51s, with final approval expected from the City Council next Wednesday.
The team will be owned and operated by Las Vegas Soccer, LLC and Brett Lashbrook, formerly COO of former USL and current MLS team Orlando City SC. While Cashman Field may not be the ideal venue — the downtown location can be a challenge, and the Triple-A 51s have been opening seeking a new venue — Las Vegas is regarded as being a good soccer market. And, if the 51s do leave, the new Las Vegas team would be position to take over Cashman Field — assuming the city keeps in operation. Much is to be debated about the future of Cashman Field, as the city took it over from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on June 1.
“We are excited to work with the Mayor’s office to bring the world’s game to Downtown Las Vegas,” Lashbrook said in a press statement. “Las Vegas is the second largest U.S. market without a professional soccer team and it’s long overdue. Our goal is to have this club truly reflect the multiculturalism of our community.”
“The USL is thrilled with the tremendous progress and grateful for the hard work by the City of Las Vegas to bring professional soccer to downtown,” USL President Jake Edwards said. “We received a very strong application from the ownership group led by Brett Lashbrook and his family, and are optimistic the City Council will approve the lease agreement for Cashman Field next week. A professional club in Las Vegas further strengthens the league’s presence on the West Coast, creating regional rivalries that drive fan passion for the game.”
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.
2018 expansion still needs to be finalized; Fresno and Birmingham are expected to join USL next season, while there’s still talk of another stealth candidate tied to an existing MLS team. Edwards has said there are at least eight cities exploring expansion in 2019 and beyond.
Image courtesy USL.
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