Vegas out of running for professional soccer team expansion

Published 9:25 am Friday, February 13, 2015

LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas officials said Thursday the city is out of the running for a U.S. professional soccer expansion franchise, at least until after 2018, and a proposed $200 million downtown stadium won’t be built.

The city released a letter from Major League Soccer Commissioner Donald Garber telling Mayor Carolyn Goodman the decision to expand to another city was due to uncertainty about when the league could move forward in Las Vegas.

Garber doesn’t say what city will get the nod. Minneapolis and Sacramento, California, are also being considered.

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The announcement scuttles a much-fought plan to use taxpayer funds to build a stadium capable of seating 24,000 people.

Last week, a Nevada judge gave the go-ahead to an initiative to stop plans to spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on the project if MLS chose Las Vegas.

The initiative had backing from three of Las Vegas’ seven City Council members, and it became the focus of a court fight over whether initiative proponents gathered enough signatures.

A statement from the city said agreements with private partners Findlay Sports and Entertainment and the Cordish Cos. to build the stadium now will expire Feb. 20.

“The stadium proposal is now stopped,” it said.