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Report: Las Vegas emerges as top MLS expansion city

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Major League Soccer’s 30th franchise could be destined for the Strip.

Las Vegas has become the frontrunner to land the latest MLS expansion team, Sportico reported Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the league’s thinking.

Multiple bids are in play. Both Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley and Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens are hopeful to put an expansion franchise in Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders. Foley and Edens are part of different, competing groups.

Per the report, still another group has its sights set on Cashman Field, a soccer stadium in downtown Las Vegas that’s currently the home of the United Soccer League’s Las Vegas Lights.

MLS, the top soccer league in the U.S., has expanded from 19 teams as recently as 2014 to 27 teams this season. Los Angeles received a second club and Atlanta, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Miami, Nashville all landed teams since 2017; Austin FC is currently playing its inaugural season.

Charlotte FC will begin play next season, and St. Louis City SC and Sacramento Republic FC were slated to join in 2023 to reach 30 clubs. But Sacramento’s bid appears in doubt after its principal investor, Ron Burkle, pulled out of the project in February citing “issues with the project related to COVID-19.”

Now Las Vegas may supplant Sacramento. The city that did not have major professional sports franchises less than 10 years ago has added the NHL’s expansion Golden Knights and NFL’s Raiders since 2017. It has also been linked to Major League Baseball relocation, namely for the Oakland Athletics.

Allegiant Stadium hosted the CONCACAF Gold Cup final earlier this month, where the U.S. stunned Mexico in a 1-0 victory.

–Field Level Media

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