Cashman Field is getting ready to become a full-time professional soccer home, as Las Vegas Lights FC is preparing the venue for upcoming matches.
Joining the USL as an expansion club for the 2018 season, Lights FC will play its home games at Cashman Field. Opening in 1983, Cashman Field is the longtime home of baseball’s Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), and has hosted soccer matches in the past. However, the arrival of a full-time soccer tenant will require Cashman Field’s playing surface to undergo changeovers at various points throughout the year.
This week, Lights FC began converting the playing surface in preparation for a Feburary 10 exhibition against MLS’s Montreal Impact. More from The Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The Las Vegas Lights FC laid down the first pieces of turf at the stadium on Wednesday, as the team began changing the field into a soccer venue ahead of its Feb. 10 exhibition game against Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact. The first turf installation is expected to be completed by Friday and will last until the end of February, through all three of the team’s exhibition matches.
The stadium will then undergo the first of 24 changeovers between a soccer and baseball field (or vice versa) because of the Lights and Las Vegas 51s sharing the venue during the 2018 season.
“We want our fans to think this is just like a slice of Mexico City, Buenos Aires, London, Barcelona, Madrid,” Lights owner Brett Lashbrook said. “We want to be the next great soccer community. We believe Cashman Field is a wonderful, wonderful location for us.”
Cashman Field will host both the 51s and Lights FC for 2018, but the 51s are expected to move into a new ballpark in downtown Summerlin in the coming years. That move could take place as early as 2019.