The Las Vegas City Council next week will discuss a plan to finance and build a new Las Vegas MLS stadium as part of a larger mixed-use development on the current Cashman Field site.
This is not the first time Las Vegas has pursued an MLS team: the above rendering comes from the 2014 effort. As part of the deal, Las Vegas Lights FC owner Brett Lashbrook would sell control of the Lights to a new investment group led by billionaire hedge-fund manager Seth Klarman of the Boston-based Baupost Group, while the city and the new owners embark on a new Las Vegas MLS stadium plan.
In Vegas, Lashbrook has been successful in launching Las Vegas Lights FC, playing at the aging and limited Cashman Field at the edge of downtown Vegas. Cashman Field would certainly be town down as part of the development. Given the limited capabilities of Cashman Field–no suites, limited support spaces–it’s hard to see it filling any potential use as a temporary MLS space.
According to city officials, approval by the council next week (June 5) would begin a 180-day negotiating period with Renaissance Companies to develop a master plan for a mixed-use development on the 62-acre Cashman Field site. That site also hosted the now-shuttered Cashman Center, a convention and event facility that closed in 2017. This sort of large-scale investment anchored by a soccer stadium is particularly loved by MLS officials and owners; it’s the model used for Allianz Field and a proposed Miami facility.
If the city and Renaissance Companies agree on a development and funding plan, Las Vegas Lights FC founder, owner & CEO Brett Lashbrook would sell his USL Championship team, which would be the basis for an MLS expansion bid a la Nashville, Cincinnati and potentially Sacramento.
Here’s the statement from Las Vegas Lights FC founder, owner & CEO Brett Lashbrook:
“From day one our goal for Lights FC was (and continues to be) to build a community asset that will exist for decades to come. We always knew that soccer in Las Vegas would be successful and that opportunities for the club to accelerate its growth would exist. Now, more than ever before, it is a great time to be a soccer fan in Las Vegas.
It is with enormous pride to announce that Lights FC has entered into an agreement to transfer club ownership conditioned upon the Las Vegas City Council finalizing a Cashman Field Master Development Agreement that would feature a new soccer stadium and other ancillary developments.
We could not be more excited at the prospect of what today’s announcement may lead to in the months ahead. We remain enormously grateful to Mayor Goodman for all her support and urge the other council members to join her in successfully voting on this transcendent project for downtown.
A special thank you to our fans that have supported us in increasingly growing numbers. We all collectively know that soccer in Las Vegas is poised for even greater growth in the years to come.
We are just getting started…Viva Lights!”
When Las Vegas first made a run at MLS, there were no major-league-level sports in Las Vegas: the Vegas Golden Knights did not exist as an NHL expansion team, and Mark Davis had not begun planning for a new NFL stadium. Also opening since then: the $150-million Las Vegas Ballpark in suburban Summerlin.