Viva Las Vegas!
MLS’s 30th franchise. The MLS decided in 2017 to increase the size of the league from 24 teams to 28 franchises. Despite having problems finding cities, the league added Austin, Cincinnati and Nashville. The league then decided that it didn’t have to stop at 28 teams, why not add two more? There is a thought that Sacramento and St. Louis will get the 28th and 29th teams. But the question for MLS Commissioner Don Garber is why the sudden interest in Las Vegas when there is not much suggesting that a new stadium is in the future other than a six month negotiating window between possible owners and the city for land usage that could include a stadium.
The MLS also has Indianapolis in the mix for that sixth franchise. The Indy 11 soccer franchise currently is a member of the second tier United Soccer League but ownership has a desire to move up to the Major League Soccer level. The franchise ownership applied to join the MLS during the league’s hunt to add four teams but was passed over. But now there is a commitment by Indiana legislators to put $112 million into a new soccer facility, the Indianapolis bid has been strengthened. Investors in Las Vegas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Charlotte are pursuing an MLS franchise. The MLS is not making much money yet but investors want to join the lodge.