Major League Soccer confirmed Thursday its leadership has met with Golden Knights owner Bill Foley, a day after he told the Review-Journal he is pursuing an expansion franchise to play at the new Las Vegas Stadium or a site to be determined.
Foley faces competition from several cities in his pursuit of an MLS team, including Las Vegas.
The City Council unanimously agreed Wednesday to work with The Renaissance Companies Inc. for 180 days on a plan for a new stadium and urban development downtown in hopes of securing a franchise.
MLS has 27 teams (counting expansion franchises in Austin, Miami and Nashville) and plans to grow to 30. St. Louis and Sacramento have been invited to make formal presentations to the MLS Expansion Committee but the 30th spot is still up in the air.
Asked to comment on the competing efforts in Las Vegas, MLS provided the following statement: “Major League Soccer appreciates the recent interest in securing a future MLS expansion club for Las Vegas. We look forward to speaking with interested ownership groups, Mayor (Carolyn) Goodman and Las Vegas business leaders in the coming months to further understand the potential for Las Vegas as home for an MLS expansion team in the future.”
MLS previously entertained competing bids from the same area in 2015 in Minnesota. Former UnitedHealth Group chairman and CEO Dr. Bill McGuire proposed building a soccer-specific stadium for an expansion franchise while Minnesota Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf pitched housing a team in the NFL arena U.S. Bank Stadium.
McGuire was awarded a team and Minnesota United FC, now in its third MLS season, opened the $250 million, privately financed Allianz Field on April 13.