LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Major League Soccer is setting its sights on Las Vegas to be home to its next expansion team.
The expanding league is now in talks with billionaire Wes Eden and Nassef Sawiris to bring a team to Southern Nevada.
Eden has one foot in Las Vegas now as one of the owners of Brightline, the company bringing high-speed rail to our desert. He also knows soccer as the co-owner with Sawiris of the Premier Leagues Aston Villa.
Commissioner Michael Naft has had conversations with both men.
“I think it’s a very strong sign. The numbers I’ve seen are incredible; we all know the viewership in soccer is improving,” says Nafts.
“When you look under 30, soccer is what they want to play; soccer is what they want to watch.”
This is not Las Vegas’ first swing at soccer.
In 2014, Mayor Carolyn Goodman was close to bringing an MLS team to Vegas, but the plan failed because no one wanted to commit any public money to a new stadium.
Since then, we’ve seen a lot of public money go to Allegiant Stadium, the Las Vegas Ballpark, and T-Mobile Arena.
The point is, this is a different Las Vegas than it was eight years ago.
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This new proposed deal does not come with public funding.
Mayor Goodman tells us she’s thrilled her dream could be becoming a reality.
“It’s really exciting to finally were in line,” says Goodman.
“I think we’re in line for 17 or 18, and this is 30. It has been a while, and I think it’s exciting.”