Las Vegas is firmly in Major League Soccer’s crosshairs, Commissioner Don Garber said during his MLS Cup 2021 halftime interview on ABC.
Earlier this week, during his annual State of the League Address, Garber said Las Vegas was a favorite to become MLS’ 30th team as expansion nears that benchmark. Then speaking with ESPN’s Taylor Twellman, he only further emboldened that possibility.
“Vegas is the frontrunner, Taylor, and I'm very, very focused on that,” Garber said. “We're looking at building a stadium right off the strip.”
Businessman Wes Edens is a key figure in the possible future MLS market, which has experienced a rise in professional sports as both the NHL (Las Vegas Golden Knights) and NFL (Las Vegas Raiders) have made Nevada their home.
Should MLS join that contingent, confirmation could be coming sooner rather than later, Garber added.
“Our 30th team is really going to round out expansion in Major League Soccer, so stay tuned,” Garber said. “First quarter of 2022 we should be announcing a 30th team.”
MLS will reach 28 teams when Charlotte FC join for 2022, while St. Louis CITY SC will make it 29 teams in 2023. In his State of the League Address, Garber said the 30th team wouldn't be up and running by 2023.
Sin City’s Allegiant Stadium has hosted prominent soccer events in recent months, with the 2021 Leagues Cup and Concacaf Gold Cup finals both held here there. Though, as Garber noted, a soccer-specific venue is part of discussions as well.