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Las Vegas officials to make pitch for MLS team

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and City Manager Betsy Fretwell are joining soccer stadium backer Justin Findlay today to pitch Major League Soccer officials on the merits of the city hosting an MLS team.

They will confer with MLS officials in New York City.

Goodman is the chief political supporter of the proposed $200 million, 24,000-seat stadium, which would be built in downtown Symphony Park. MLS is expanding from 19 to 24 teams, and there is only one slot left as Las Vegas is competing against Sacramento, Calif., and Minneapolis.

Findlay, whose family owns the car dealership chain that bears his name, and Dean Howes, Findlay’s stadium adviser, argue that the Las Vegas market can support an MLS team that would draw an average of 18,000 fans a game for 17 regular season home games.

Findlay is partnering 50/50 with The Cordish Cos., a Baltimore development company that was given the rights by the city to build a sports venue in downtown.

The hang-up is that the City Council and Findlay/Cordish haven’t agreed on a funding package, which has evolved during the past six months.

The latest stadium funding proposal calls for the city to contribute $20 million to $25 million for the soccer stadium as part of a package of parks projects of about $50 million.

The City Council will meet Dec. 1 to discuss the stadium proposal.

Contact Alan Snel at asnel@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5273. Find him on Twitter: @bicyclemansnel

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