Las Vegas Hopes Leagues Cup Final Helps Land MLS Franchise
MLS and Liga MX will hold the newly formed Leagues Cup final at Sam Boyd Stadium on Sept. 18, which will give Las Vegas a "chance to show its soccer fandom amid competing proposals for a MLS expansion franchise," according to Ben Gotz of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. MLS Commissioner Don Garber said having a "good showing and having a passionate crowd, having a lot of media interest, having corporate interest" for the Leagues Cup final "would be indicators" for the city being able to host an MLS franchise. He added, "I'm not sure that it will drive that decision but certainly it's something that will matter." The Leagues Cup will begin July 23 with the Fire, Dynamo, Galaxy and Real Salt Lake competing against Liga MX clubs. All games will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+ and Univision in the U.S. (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/12). In Las Vegas, Ricardo Torres-Cortez noted the last time MLS organized a game at Sam Boyd, the 30,617 fans "set a record attendance for soccer in Las Vegas." As the Golden Knights succeed, and the Raiders' move approaches, MLS officials are encouraged "more now than ever before" about the city's MLS hopes (LASVEGASSUN, 7/11).
HEAD TO HEAD: The REVIEW-JOURNAL's Gotz notes there are two "competing efforts trying to bring MLS to Las Vegas." City officials are "currently in a 180-day negotiating window that began June 5 to build a new stadium downtown with project manager The Renaissance Companies." Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said negotiations are “moving forward” with The Renaissance Companies. Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley also has "talked to MLS about a team." The Golden Knights on Thursday said that they "remain interested in acquiring a franchise and their talks with MLS are ongoing." Garber said that he "does not have a timetable as to when he would like to get to 30 teams" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/12).