The Las Vegas City Council has approved an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with The Renaissance Companies to build a mixed-use downtown development that will include a new stadium for a potential Major League Soccer team in the US city.
The stadium would be based at the Cashman Field site (pictured), the current home of United Soccer League franchise the Las Vegas Lights.
With the approval of the ENA, discussions will now take place for a new stadium and mixed-use development on the 62 acres where Cashman Field is currently located.
The city will work with Renaissance on the draft of a master development agreement that would then be brought back to the city council for consideration. The ENA will last for 180 days.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said: “This is a very exciting first step toward a project that would reshape the Las Vegas Boulevard corridor north of U.S. 95. We know that the success of the Lights is a clear indication that Las Vegas loves soccer. We are excited about the prospects of having an MLS expansion franchise playing in a new state-of-the-art stadium in downtown Las Vegas.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Renaissance will present to the city a detailed plan for the financing of the stadium development. The agreement also calls for a master development agreement that ensures the sport has a presence in downtown Las Vegas, and requires team ownership working with the city to make an application to MLS for an expansion team.
Project manager and financial structuring advisor Renaissance works with institutions and investors on real-estate developments, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and public/private partnerships.
Meanwhile, Bill Foley, owner of NHL ice hockey franchise the Vegas Golden Knights, has said that he is interested in launching an MLS franchise in the city. The team would either play at the home of the Raiders NFL team or at a new site, Foley said.
Foley told the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper: “I’m very interested in this and we are working on making it happen. I think soccer is the new football for many parents who don’t want their children playing (tackle football). I think we could be just as successful with soccer as we have been with hockey. We have all the infrastructure in place to make it very successful.
“I believe the Raiders stadium would be the best venue, but if that didn’t work, we would consider (building) a soccer-specific stadium. I’ve already been shown some sites where it could work.”
Foley did not comment on any specific conversations with the Raiders. Mark Davis, owner of the Raiders, has said that the team needs to fill the stadium “365 days a year” but he did not confirm whether there have been talks regarding an MLS team.
Image: Las Vegas Lights