City, Bill Foley pursuing Major League Soccer expansion team as competition heats up

Posted at 7:58 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 01:07:30-04

LAS VEGAS/KTNV — Just more than a year after the Las Vegas Lights played their first game in Las Vegas, founder and owner Brett Lashbrook is now seeing a near promise of growth.

"This is a sign of us becoming a major league city and these are wonderful steps to be taking as we become a major league city." said Lashbrook.

Lashbrook is referring to not just the amount of interest in Vegas soccer, in particular bringing a Major League Soccer team to the city, but also who's interested.

Early Wednesday, city council members unanimously voted to allow a 180-day negotiating window between the city and a deep-pocketed developer to build a new stadium and build up the area known as the Cashman District. In this scenario, the Lights would likely transition from the United Soccer League to the major league. Lashbrook says the proposal is in line with what is expected of a MLS expansion team.

"It's really three things: you have to demonstrate that it's a market that can support soccer. You need a soccer specific stadium and candidly, you need a high networth individual to be able to support it," he said. "Not just for the MLS today but where MLS wants to continue to go over the decade."

While the city council moves forward with the Cashman District proposal, Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley confirmed to the Review Journal that he is also pursuing an MLS team, with hopes of the team playing in the brand new Raiders stadium.

"When you have a guy like Bill Foley with the Vegas Golden Knights and Mark Davis and the Raiders with a brand new stadium which is going to be the state of the art stadium in the entire world, of course that's going to get your attention," said TC Martin, who hosts a Fox Sports radio show on 98.9 FM and 1340AM.

Mayor Goodman said she loves the competition between the city and Foley and loves that he's interested. Last week, she said she would be traveling to Orlando next month to pitch the MLS expansion committee.