A potential Las Vegas MLS stadium deal could go before the city council later this month, a sign of progress in discussions about a redevelopment of the Cashman Field site.
Las Vegas officials have been in negotiations over a plan that would see a new stadium built as part of a larger redevelopment of 62 acres of the Cashman Field property. The city launched formal negotiations in June with The Renaissance Companies on a master development plan for the site on the edge of downtown Las Vegas, anchored by a 25,000-capacity retractable-roof MLS stadium. The stadium development would be led by billionaire hedge-fund manager Seth Klarman of the Boston-based Baupost Group, who has an option to buy USL Championship’s Las Vegas Lights. Initially, the two sides were locked into a 180-day negotiating period that was to end December 1, 2019, but they opted to extend that deadline to February 5.
Discussions between the two sides have made progress, and the Las Vegas City Council voted Wednesday to pay law firm GreenbergTraurig LLP up to $150,000 for representation in composing legal documents and transaction documents relating to the proposal. In the days prior to that vote, Las Vegas officials indicated that a deal could go before the city council on February 19. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Las Vegas officials expect a deal to be presented to the City Council on Feb. 19 that would represent “the next step forward” in the city’s pursuit of a Major League Soccer franchise, a city spokesman said [January 30].
The deal would include multiple agreements with the Renaissance Cos. Inc., city spokesman Jace Radke said, including the master development agreement that has been the subject of negotiations for months….
Mayor Carolyn Goodman has long championed bringing an MLS club to the city, although the stadium project deal is not contingent on securing a team. In June, Renaissance Chairman Floyd Kephart said that a scaled-back version of the stadium would be considered if the MLS did not approve the city’s application.
Another pitch for the Cashman Field site emerged this week, as Michael Lentine–the owner of South Carolina-based EarthArtist Studios–proposed redeveloping the site into a film studio. With city officials still focused on their discussions with Renaissance Companies, however, the MLS proposal remains on track to go to the council later this month for a vote.
MLS announced the addition of Charlotte as its 30th team in December. Although commissioner Don Garber has said that further expansion likely won’t happen again, there could still be movement toward adding more teams if a compelling case emerges in Las Vegas. Cashman Field, the Lights’ current venue and former home to Minor League Baseball in Las Vegas, sits on a site that is seen by city officials as ripe for redevelopment because of its proximity to downtown and freeway access. Furthermore, the concept would reflect the stadium/mixed-use development model that has been frequently implemented around MLS.
The Cashman Field effort is not the only only one that has been floated for MLS in Las Vegas: Bill Foley, owner of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, has been separately exploring an MLS expansion bid, potentially placing the team at the upcoming Allegiant Field or elsewhere in the region.
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