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Las Vegas MLS plan boosted after city agrees stadium deal

Plans to take Major League Soccer (MLS) to Las Vegas have taken a major step forward after officials behind the project announced an agreement to construct a new soccer stadium in the Nevadan desert city.

The 24,000-seat stadium, designed specifically for an MLS team, will be based in the city’s downtown Symphony Park area, according to the deal announced by the city of Las Vegas, The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment on Tuesday.

A non-binding term sheet covering the key points of the agreement will be put to a Las Vegas City Council vote on 3rd September. If approved, a binding development agreement would then be put to the council in December.

The total project cost for the team and stadium including interest on bonds over the next thirty years is US$410m. Of that, 69% would be privately funded and 31% from public sources, such as taxes collected from tourists and public infrastructure funds.

A statement from the project overseers said the venue would only be built if the Findlay-Cordish partnership is awarded an MLS team. The partnership would be responsible for all costs associated with the franchise, including the design and construction of the city-owned stadium.

Once the stadium is open and operating, the Findlay-Cordish partnership would cover any operating losses during the next 30 years. The team would also sign a long-term lease and agree to stay in the city for the same period of time.

City mayor, Carolyn G. Goodman, said:

The time to bring professional sports to Las Vegas is now. The deal negotiated with Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Companies will be a win-win for the city of Las Vegas and its residents. I love that both our partners are family-owned companies with great reputations.

The Findlay-Cordish partnership is split 50/50. Findlay Sports & Entertainment, founded with the sole intention of taking MLS to Las Vegas, is a locally owned company headed by Justin Findlay and principals of Findlay Automotive Group, while Cordish Companies is one of America’s largest real estate development firms.

It is estimated that the proposed venue would generate more than US$9m in annual tax revenue for the state, county, city and other local entities. It is also projected to create more than 1,200 jobs, including 525 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs.

As well as hosting an MLS franchise, the stadium would also be used for other community events and would feature state-of-the-art concession and fan entertainment experiences.

Findlay Sports & Entertainment and the Cordish Companies announce proposal to bring MLS to downtown Las Vegas: Symphony Park would be home to the city's first professional sports team. (PRNewsFoto/Findlay Sports and Entertainment)

Findlay Sports & Entertainment and the Cordish Companies announce proposal to bring MLS to downtown Las Vegas: Symphony Park would be home to the city’s first professional sports team. (PRNewsFoto/Findlay Sports and Entertainment)

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Source: MyNews3 and PRNewsFoto