Vegas official pushes soccer stadium as “multipurpose,” because rodeos and stuff

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!!!

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