Friday, June 01, 2007

Las Vegas group ready to pay MLS expansion fee

The Las Vegas Sports & Entertainment Group president Mark Noorzai has sent a letter to MLS telling them they are ready to pay the $35 million expansion fee to secure a team for the city. The letter also included information on the "$500 million retractable-roof stadium, an adjacent hotel and casino, practice fields and other amenities on 200 acres."

Now they are just waiting to hear back from the league.

MLS President Mark Abbott, who oversees expansion, declined to say anything about the letter, however he did say that Vegas is a place of interest.

"It's fair to say that Las Vegas is a market that's interesting to us," he said. "We think it would be very supportive of professional soccer, so it's a market we're looking at."

Interestingly enough, Abbott stressed the time needed to build a stadium as a reason to not rush any decision. If San Jose is award a team for the 2008 season, someone should ask Abbott about that stance.

As far as the Vegas group itself, they are pushing Paul Caligiuri as their public face. To say this is a smart move is an understatement as Caligiuri has a special place in US soccer fans hearts.

They are also looking into the idea of having Las Vegas Football Club youth academies in their countries.

"It has been offered first-division teams in Belgium and Italy, and a second-division squad in Spain, Caligiuri said. Officials in Brazil and Ghana inquired about starting Las Vegas Football Club youth academies in their countries.

"That's how Chelsea does it," Caligiuri said of the elite English team. The sports group " is in this for the right reasons. This is the best new brick in the foundation of the league, if done properly. "

"And I believe this group will do it properly."

Lots of fun ideas, but is it enough to win then a MLS spot?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Fullback said...

Stadium Plans? Check (retractable roof!)
Funding? Check
Youth Investement? Check
Fan Interest? Unsure

It's the right sort of area for MLS as the competition from established local pro teams is nonexistant, but Vegas does have other draws, or so I've been told.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Mike H said...

How come I think supporter clubs will have a very easy time organizing road trips for the games and 'other draws.'

1:52 PM  

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