The MLS has zeroed in on Las Vegas as a potential market.
Major League Soccer has told potential owners of a Las Vegas franchise that you can have a team but you have to prove to us that the business will work. The MLS has entered into what is termed exclusive talks with Wes Edens and his partner about acquiring the right to bring an expansion team to Las Vegas. The league wants to know a little more about Las Vegas. For instance, is the market big enough to handle an expansion team and how much corporate money will be available for the business. Sports dollars are going to have to be split with the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights and the National Football League’s Raiders. The MLS also wants to know whether there will be state-of-the-art practice facility and what are the plans for a stadium that more than likely will have to be domed given Las Vegas’s summer heat. Will there be public money for that stadium is a question that needs an answer.
In 2017, MLS owners decided to add four teams to its group. The expansion process has been slow and hit an obstacle with a Sacramento group unable to get financing for a team. The MLS hatched a plan to find four ownership groups that could own MLS expansion teams around the United States. The league received interest from 12 cities with owners who could foot the bill for a team. The hope was to award two expansion franchises by the end of 2017 and two more in 2018. The expansion process did not go as planned and just three cities Austin, Cincinnati and Nashville had the right stuff to get teams #25, #26 and #27. St. Louis and Sacramento got franchises #28 and #29. Charlotte was given slot #30. Major League Soccer wants 30 teams, but finding #30 has been a problem.
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