Could Major League Soccer be on its way to Sin City?
According to a report from the Las Vegas Sun on Wednesday, Las Vegas has been in talks with MLS about potentially hosting an expansion team. Ray Brewer reports that MLS Deputy Commissioner and President Mark Abbott confirmed that talks have taken place.
“We recently met with Justin Findlay and Blake Cordish at the MLS League office in New York and were very impressed with their vision to pursue building a new soccer stadium and acquiring an MLS expansion club for Las Vegas,” Abbott is quoted as saying in a statement. “We look forward to continuing discussions as they work to further develop their plans with Mayor [Carolyn] Goodman and the City of Las Vegas.”
When reached for comment by MLSsoccer.com about the report, a league spokesperson confirmed Abbott's statement.
The prospects for Las Vegas as an expansion city appear to be improved by the plans to build a 24,000 seat stadium in downtown Las Vegas, as unveiled by Findlay Sports and Entertainment and The Cordish Companies on Wednesday. The intention is that the stadium will be used for professional soccer. In addition, Mayor Goodman supports efforts to bring a professional sports team to the city.
MLS has two teams joining the league for the 2015 season, New York City FC and Orlando City. In addition, Atlanta was recently awarded an expansion franchise, while Miami is expected to follow after David Beckham exercised his option to purchase a franchise.
When they begin play, the league will have 23 teams. Las Vegas could grab the coveted 24th spot, though there is considerable competition for it, as cities all over the country have expressed interest in joining MLS.