Anyway: The Cordish Companies, who you may remember from their dubious downtown Vegas arena plan, (as well as their dubious dress codes at their sports-themed mall restaurants) yesterday announced plans to build a 24,000-seat downtown stadium for a pro soccer team. Which doesn’t exist yet, but sure, Las Vegas, why the hell not? Justin Findlay, managing partner of Findlay Sports and Entertainment, Cordish’s partner in this little exercise, told the Las Vegas Sun that Vegas is competing with Austin, Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Diego for the final expansion franchise to get MLS to 24 teams by 2020, so building a stadium for a team with a maybe one in six chance of existing is only five-sixths crazy, right?
As for how to pay for it, the Sun reports:
Findlay officials said the investment in the stadium and team would be in excess of $300 million and was expected to create more than 1,000 construction and permanent jobs. Funding would be a private-public split but, Findlay said, it’s too early to put a number how much the city would be asked to contribute.
An MLS expansion team would probably cost around $70 million (what Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank paid for his last year), though with so many cities fighting for presumably one spot, MLS could always decide to bid that up some. That’d leave $200 million and change to build the stadium, which might be possible with $100 million or less in public money, depending on how pricey a stadium they want, how much land costs are, etc. Cordish’s arena plan was to put in $151 million while the city put in $239 million, so I’d be surprised if they went with a much better split for this project, but it’d be a pleasant surprise.