Soccer Stadium In Las Vegas?
While soccer’s popularity may be growing in America, would the voting public agree to support public funding for a soccer stadium? That is the question some people want asked in Las Vegas.
Stadium funding has always been scarce in the US and Las Vegas is no different than the rest of country – at least so far. But the future for soccer lovers could brighten with the proposed $200 million professional soccer stadium near Las Vegas’ Symphony Park.
The Las Vegas City Council has been exploring the public funding of a proposed 24,000-seat soccer stadium not far from downtown.
Will Las Vegas gamble $50 million towards building this stadium, which could add a significantly positive economic impact to the city’s bottom line? The city’s Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman is pro soccer and the Las Vegas City Council has already voted 4-3 in December to approve a plan that granted over $50 million in public financing.
But does the public get to vote on it? Not everyone is as bullish on building a stadium as Goodman.
Unfortunately, not all Las Vegas business support the building of a stadium, at least not with the use of funds as currently proposed. The issue is the use of the tax on hotel room use being allocated towards the stadium instead of being spent on city parks and soccer fields.
Some people in the Nevada youth soccer world are said to oppose the plan. Las Vegas is becoming well known for youth soccer events and nationally acclaimed soccer tournaments like the Vegas Cup and Las Vegas Mayors Cup International Showcase.
Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers is also opposed and his supporters worked hard in the past few weeks on a petition to put the issue to a public vote.
District Court Judge Jerry Wiese will hold a hearing on February 4th as the battle on the ballot continues. Should voters get to decide on the proposed public funding of a soccer stadium in downtown Las Vegas?
The soccer stadium is a project from the Findlay Sports and Entertainment and the Cordish Companies who would supply the remainder of the funding. Everything does ultimately rests upon the MLS granting a soccer franchise to the city but Findlay Sports and Entertainment is dedicated to making this happen by 2017.
Everyone agrees that the MLS is growing at a tremendous pace and has become one of the country’s premier professional sports leagues. It is with great celebration that the MLS as outpaced professional basketball in average ticketed attendance per game.
According to a recent ESPN Poll, MLS has more young fans between the ages of 12 and 17 than Major League Baseball. And why not have a team in Las Vegas? As Mayor Goodman said, “Major league sports are long overdue for our city …. a professional soccer stadium on Symphony Park will only compliment the exciting venues we already have downtown, and bring our city to a whole new level.”