Las Vegas Still The Favorite To Land An MLS Expansion Franchise

The final decision on expansion will be made months from now.

For some strange reason, Major League Soccer has had all sorts of problems in getting expansion teams on the pitch. The league has 29 teams and was supposed to have 30 but Sacramento investors who got a franchise lost Ron Burkle as part of the group and the franchise disappeared as rapidly as it was accepted. The league is still looking for a 30th franchise and it appears that Las Vegas has the inside track at landing a team. But it does not seem that the league and Las Vegas investors are having an easy go of getting a team together. The MLS Commissioner Don Garber said of the Las Vegas expansion process that “we are making a lot of progress. We hope to be able to complete something in the first third of the year, which will give us several years before the launch of the team.” That deadline would bring the expansion process through April 30th, 2023. The problem in Las Vegas is simple. There is no MLS state-of-the-art stadium available in the market.

Garber defended the Las Vegas expansion process. “It’s unfair to say that Vegas is far from a team. Expansions are complicated in any market. Going to a place that needs a soccer-specific stadium, you need to make sure everything is going to work. Everything must take shape with the community, the supporters and in a political way.” Las Vegas and Nevada gave a huge subsidy for a football stadium that enticed the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders franchise head Mark Davis to move his business to Las Vegas. Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher is interested in moving his franchise to Las Vegas. Nevada officials have said they really don’t want to put up public money for an Athletics stadium. But money, whether it is baseball or soccer, does talk.

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