Las Vegas gets its soccer stadium, too

It isn't every day that two cities pass measures to build soccer stadiums. Hours after the D.C. council approved a development plan for a 20,000-seat soccer stadium in the Buzzard Point neighborhood of Southwest Washington, the Las Vegas city council narrowly agreed to help fund a soccer stadium, contingent on the city being awarded an MLS expansion team.

There was heavy opposition to the city's financial support for the development plan proposed by Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Cos., a Baltimore-based developer. They had been granted exclusive rights to build a sports venue on 13 acres in Symphony Park.

The value of what Las Vegas will contribute is significant:

$38 million to $48 million. The appraisal on the Symphony Park parcel, where the stadium will be built;
$31.5 million. Infrastructure improvements for utility lines, drainage and streets;
$25 million. The stadium share of a $50 million stadium-parks bond (repaid with $3 million annually over 30 years from a hotel tax) to held pay for the stadium;
$20 million. A 1,200-space parking garage it will build (the stadium will keep the revenues from 90 events a year).

The developers will pay:

$250 million. Retail, office and residential development around the stadium;
$133.5 million. Stadium construction costs; and
$100 million. The estimated expansion fee.

All this spending may never happen if Las Vegas doesn't get an MLS team. It is generally believed to be third in three-city race with Minneapolis and Sacramento for one or two (if Miami falls through) remaining expansion slots. MLS hopes to make a decision on its next expansion plans in the first half of 2015.

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4 comments about "Las Vegas gets its soccer stadium, too".
  1. James e Chandler, December 18, 2014 at 8:57 a.m.

    "Buzzard Point" in Washington D.C., isn't that where Congress is?
    Las Vegas? Well if it weren't for gambling, and Hoover Dam, it wouldn't be much more than a 20 mule team borax stopover. I passed through there on my way to Death Valley.
    Minneapolis a nice town. There will likely be some matches in some brutal weather at both ends of the MLS season. A sliding roof is always an option, but who's going to spend that kind of money for a franchise that might draw 15-18 thousand?
    Sacramento? Another team in California? boring.
    What's real sad is that St. Louis a city that has a long soccer history, can't figure out how to support a professional team.
    In a perfect world for the federation football purist, MLS and NASL merges, and creates two tiers with promotion/relegation.

  2. Mark Torguson, December 18, 2014 at 12:31 p.m.

    Not sure why a Sacramento team would be boring? The city has embraced this team with open arms and it is now in the heartbeat of the community. The attendance numbers shattered anything else in the USL and most importantly the atmosphere at the games and around the city makes Sacramento the perfect choice.

  3. Dave Wasser, December 18, 2014 at 5:12 p.m.

    I like Las Vegas as a destination for a team better than Miami because Miami is saturated with professional sports. Miami already has football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Las Vegas doesn't have any of that, so a soccer team would be more special there.

  4. Zoe Willet, December 20, 2014 at 12:08 a.m.

    @Chandler: Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh please, yes! Do let us have the promotion/relegation system- so much more logical and motivational.

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