Talks have heated up in Las Vegas about building an MLS stadium, if by “talks” you mean elected officials insisting that it’s not an MLS stadium at all:
Call it a “soccer stadium,” and Las Vegas Councilman Bob Coffin volunteers to correct you.
“You really want to call it a multipurpose stadium,” Coffin says.
The “multipurpose” gambit, of course, is to get people off the track of thinking, “Wait, we’re going to spend how much for a stadium for a team that would only play 17 home games a year?” The problem is that a 20,000-seat open-air stadium is going to face competition from Vegas’s 20,000-seat indoor arenas for things like concerts, leaving … well, Coffin mentioned “rodeos, lacrosse, major high school football games or neutral site college football games for small schools,” all of which are possible, but none of which are big money-makers.
And that’s the part of the deal that still hasn’t been resolved: the money part. Cordish Cos., the developer looking to build a soccer stadium because it has an option on the land and a basketball arena didn’t fly, has been vague about its financing plans thus far, except that a bunch of public money would likely be involved. There’s a competing MLS plan, from New York money manager Jason Ader, who I got to be on Nevada Public Radio with on Tuesday — he said all kinds of nice things about funding a stadium with no public funds on the European model of having supporters (i.e., fans) buy shares in the club, but as I tried to point out, MLS is not La Liga, so that’s going to be … what’s worse than an uphill struggle? A 100% vertical struggle?
Anyway, say it all together with me: “Multipurpose stadium.” “Multiepurpose stadium.” It is not a balloon!!! It’s an airship!!!