LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber generated a buzz among fans on Tuesday with confirmation that Las Vegas is the front-runner to become home of the league's 30th soccer club.
"We're making progress, as has been announced — or has been leaked — in Las Vegas," Garber said in his State of the League address. "We're excited about the market, as are all the other leagues here in North America."
The MLS is in talks with Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens on a potential club in Las Vegas, he said. However, the league is also exploring two other markets as possible locations for a new club: Phoenix and San Diego.
Garber added that the MLS has looked at other clubs over the years, and these discussions will continue.
"I think that the interest in MLS continues to grow," he said. "The value that investors look at when they're determining how they want to engage with professional soccer, or professional sports overall, is at an all-time high."
The success of the Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas Raiders is an appealing factor to league administrators. Garber called the Knights' expansion "one of the greatest expansion team launches of professional sports," and said what the Raiders organization has done in Vegas is "spectacular."
"I'm just blown away by what's been going on in Las Vegas, and I've been in the sports business for a long time," Garber said. "I didn't see it coming."
The MLS is expected to make an announcement within the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, rumors continue circulating about the Oakland A's considering Las Vegas as a potential new home, including an offer on landin an as-yet undisclosed part of the Valley.
As that story develops, Monday's MLS news is more evidence of a bright future for professional sports in Las Vegas.