SBD/May 15, 2014/Facilities

Las Vegas Group Proposes Soccer-Specific Stadium To House MLS Expansion Team

Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Cos. yesterday announced plans to "build a 24,000-seat soccer stadium at Symphony Park in downtown Las Vegas," in hopes of "bringing an MLS expansion team" to the city, according to Ray Brewer of the LAS VEGAS SUN. The proposal for the $300M project will be "heard May 21 by the Las Vegas City Council." MLS is expanding from 19 to 24 teams by '20, and Las Vegas will be "competing" with Austin, Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Antonio and San Diego for the last franchise. Those projects "are significantly ahead in the planning stages." FSE Managing Partner Justin Findlay said that if MLS "doesn’t grant Las Vegas a team, no stadium will be built." If it "is built, the city would own the stadium and lease it to the team, which would be co-owned by the Findlay and Cordish groups." The Findlay group "would manage the team." The City Council will "vote on whether to add the Findlay group to the existing agreement between Las Vegas and Cordish." If approved, the new partnership "would have until Sept. 1 to create a financing plan and Dec. 1 to finalize the development agreement." Findlay is being advised by Dean Howes, who "oversaw the construction" of Real Salt Lake's Rio Tinto Stadium (LAS VEGAS SUN, 5/15). Brewer noted Cordish has been "in a development contract" with Las Vegas since '08. That agreement "expires May 31" (LASVEGASSUN.com, 5/14). In Las Vegas, Jane Ann Morrison notes Cordish "plans to ask" the City Council "for more time to work on" the public-private partnership with FSE. There "must be a commitment" from MLS by Dec. 1 to "give Las Vegas one of two anticipated expansion teams" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL, 5/15).

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