Brazil’s Flamengo eying Las Vegas MLS team: reports

Flamengo MLS team

Brazil’s Flamengo is in talks to participate in a Las Vegas MLS team located at the Cashman Field site, according to a report in a Rio de Janeiro newspaper but not verified by local officials.

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 2019 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 negotiations and planning of the development have been extended to October past a spring deadline for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19.

When first proposed, billionaire hedge-fund manager Seth Klarman of the Boston-based Baupost Group was leading the stadium effort. He has an option to buy USL Championship’s Las Vegas Lights from owner Brett Lashbrook.

Now entering the picture–reportedly–is Brazil’s soccer giant Flamengo, which is interested in an MLS team as part of international expansion. Rio de Janeiro’s O Globo first reported on the Flamengo interested in MLS, but it’s not clear whether Flamengo would be a partner to Baupost Group or would seek to strike a deal on its own.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“We have had discussions with several parties, national and international,” said Floyd Kephart, chairman of the Renaissance Cos. “Until there is an agreement with one of these parties that can be publicly reported, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on those discussions.”

Flamengo would not say whether it is participating in the talks, either.

“The Clube de Regatas do Flamengo informs that it has been working to consolidate a project of globalization of the brand,” the team said in a statement. “In due course, we will deal with the issue with responsibility and maximum transparency.”

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