MLS entry in Las Vegas gets a boost with $410mn stadium plan



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MLS entry in Las Vegas

Plans to take Major League Soccer (MLS) to Las Vegas received a major boost recently with announcement of an agreement to construct a new soccer stadium in the Nevadan desert city.

On August 27, NBC News 3 reported that a preliminary deal has been struck between The city of Las Vegas, The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment for a $410 million downtown stadium in Sin City. The plan is to have an MLS team in downtown Las Vegas by 2017.

In that report the capacity of the stadium is said to be 24,000 and it will be specifically designed for a Major League Soccer franchise. However media reports elsewhere also revealed details about the potential stadium housing an NHL franchise. The stadium is likely to be an indoor arena, due to the intense heat in Vegas throughout the summer, so having MLS and NHL teams share the venue isn’t the craziest idea we’ve ever heard.

The stadium will be based in the city’s downtown Symphony Park area, according to the deal announced by the city of Las Vegas, The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment.

The total project cost for the team and stadium including interest on bonds over the next thirty years is US$410m. Of that, 69 per cent ($287 million) would be privately funded and 31 per cent ($123 million) from public sources, such as taxes collected from tourists and public infrastructure funds.

The Findlay-Cordish group was set up specifically to bring soccer to South Nevada and will foot all the bills for an MLS team and it is also worth noting that the stadium will not be built until Las Vegas is awarded an MLS franchise. Once the stadium is open and operating, the Findlay-Cordish partnership would cover any operating losses during the next 30 years. The team would also sign a long-term lease and agree to stay in the city for the same period of time.

“The time to bring professional sports to Las Vegas is now. The deal negotiated with Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Companies will be a win-win for the city of Las Vegas and its residents. I love that both our partners are family-owned companies with great reputations,” said Carolyn G. Goodman, the Mayor of Las Vegas.

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