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MLS Ticker: Las Vegas releases finalized stadium plan; NYCFC’s Meara out up to 6 weeks; and more

LasVegasStadium_Interior (FindlaySportsLV)


Las Vegas’ push for an MLS franchise continued Wednesday, as the city finalized plans for a $200 million downtown soccer stadium.

The plan covers everything from stadium financing to naming rights to parking facilities nearby. Although the plan has been finalized, there are still a number of hurdles that will need to be cleared in order for the stadium to become a reality.

First, the city council will have to approve the plan on Feb. 18, though it is expected to pass by a slim 4-3 margin. After that, it will need to be approved by voters in a June election.

Opponents of the stadium financing plan have protested the city putting $56.5 million in public funds towards the stadium project. The stadium will be owned and operated by Las Vegas Sports & Entertainment Associates LLC, the group put together by financiers Findlay Sports and Entertainment and the Cordish Companies.

The stadium’s construction is also contingent on MLS granting Las Vegas an expansion franchise.

Here is more MLS news from Wednesday:


New York City FC goalkeeper Ryan Meara was expected to battle for the starting spot. Unfortunately, he’ll now be sidelined for the remainder of the preseason.

Sources have confirmed to SBI that the 24-year-old, currently on loan from the New York Red Bulls, has suffered a meniscus injury and could miss up to six weeks of action. A six-week absence would put Meara out of action for at least NYCFC’s first three matches of the regular season.

This isn’t Meara’s first run in with a serious injury. The goalkeeper missed the second half of the Red Bulls’ 2012 season and first half of 2013 with a hip injury.


Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo has been unhappy with what he’s deemed reckless spending by Toronto FC this offseason. Now TFC’s Tim Leiweke is firing back.

“I love the fact Joey (Saputo) is shooting at us,” Leiweke told the Toronto Sun. “I think we have better young players (than Montreal). A better academy. A better focus on what (our staff) is trying to do with the young kids.”

The public sniping began over comments that Saputo made last week, referring to the money TFC spent on its latest marquee singings — Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco — as crazy.

Saputo said he fears that a few MLS clubs capable of spending such money could grow to be head-and-shoulders above the rest of MLS, hurting it in the long run.

“The league is going through a debate — the haves versus the have nots,” Leiweke said. “Are we going to count mints on the pillow and bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator? Or are we going to create a vision of what soccer can be in North America in the next five-to-10 years and challenge the system?


What do you think of these reports? What do you think of Las Vegas’ plan? With Meara out, who do you see starting for NYC FC? What do you think of the clash between Leiweke and Saputo?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. So my daughter’s’ soccer league in Vegas is having to up their roster size because they have too many teams and not enough fields. I suppose they could build more fields but, alas, the $50 million in public funds to subsidize a billionaire’s soccer stadium is coming from, you guessed it, the parks budget.

    • Are you all protesting to at least make more fields part of the plan? Seems like a reasonable demand, and one that stadium developers shouldn’t be averse to.

  2. Vegas summer nights are awesome for soccer. I’m fat and lazy now, but we used to play soccer 3 nights a week during the summer. I understand that can create complications for the Eastern Conference TV programming, but other leagues in this country make night games work in other sports, so can MLS.

    Also, I really want this team to come to Vegas. Further, I’d like it to come ASAP. That is all.

  3. where is the pool in this stadium?

    as much as it would be really cool to have a team in LV, I would hate to see Sacramento blocked for another new team starting out in the first div without any history in the lower leagues.

  4. Beckham and his group are going to be ownership team, will bring in superior players, will have a stunning stadium, probably generate more from commercial revenue streams than any other MLS team, wouldn’t be surprised if Adidas is naming partner for their stadium. MLS will be patient with them because of these reasons and many more. Give it a rest, doubters. And give Garber a break, he does some damn good things!

  5. If garber reads SBI or some other MLS blogs,then he should really suggest what I’m going to write.
    Well, technically I have said this before. Over and over.
    Miami and LA2 need way more time to secure land and fans in irder to be succefssful.
    Therefore I believe Miami and LA2 should come in, in 2018 right after 2017 since Miami and LA2 should be way more than ready by 2018.
    As for 2017, Atlanta should come in with Sacramento or Las Vegas. It all depends who garber wants but I think Sacramento is ahead due to fan support and Vegas would start from zero. Therefore Atlanta and Sacramento for 2017 but don’t get me wrong, Vegas is a dark horse and Vegas needs a pro sport team.
    So that makes 24 teams, Atlanta, Sacramento, LA2, Miami by 2018 latest but it wouldn’t be bad if garber gives Miami even more time and add LA2 with Vegas in 2018, instead of Miami. Vegas sounds like a very powerful market that no one has faith in but i believe it would be similar to Houston or Galaxy in terms of support, around 18k per game.
    Now if you think ahead, if Vegas doesn’t make the cut since MLS might stop at 24 for some time, then Vegas, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Indy should be next in line making 28 teams and they will probably be more than ready since they might have stadiums by then.
    Well, that’s my opinion but one city that might make San Antonio look different is Austin, if Austin gets their game together and grows in Austin, then San Antonio might be in trouble but I would love for San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston, to be in MLS one day and that would be an awesome texas rivalry. Hopefully MLS hits 32 teams and Austin and Tampa bay join MLS.

  6. Really MLS?, Las Vegas and Sacramento are throwing stadiums in your face and you’re still begging the sport-haters in Miami to indifferently say maybe?

    San Antonio already has one! FFS

    Miami is not a goldmine to be treated so specially, like say, LA or NY. C’mon.

  7. I’d laugh @ the Vegas proposal… naively say no way that happens… reason that overt corruption/dirty money and sweltering 120 degree heat stroke would be deal breakers in a soccer bid, but…. history says otherwise, doesn’t it.

  8. I’m assuming Shane has never been to Vegas. There are ways the league can assist in dealing with the heat, although it’s a “dry heat” there. The league could easily schedule a majority of their games during July n August to be away and front load home games early n late in the season. Vegas is an amazing place and this could be very cool, but even I’m not convinced since so much of population there is fairly transient.

  9. Leiweke better be careful… Saputo Might have him Whacked. Saputo has been rumored for years to be running the mob in montreal…

  10. Saputo, stop worrying about what Toronto is doing. First off, they have zero MLS championships and second, there’s no guarantee they’re going to win it anytime soon.

    Las Vegas plans are pretty ambitious. However I’m not sold on it. But gotta give props to Vegas, at least they’re really trying. Take note Miami.

  11. “Saputo said he fears that a few MLS clubs capable of spending such money could grow to be head-and-shoulders above the rest of MLS, hurting it in the long run.”

    Someone make sure to tell that to the Premier League…doesn’t seem to be hurting them at all…

    • No thanks, the EPL can stay boring, they seem fine with it over there. Unbelievable that they are fine with it, but somehow they are……

      • Doesn’t make it any more interesting to me as a fan.

        Anyone that seriously looks at the table, can you tell pretty much where a team is going to fall. Top 4, top 7, top half, relegation battle, etc. There are one or two blips every year, but end of season positioning is pretty much pre-determined.

  12. Isn’t Saputo a damn billionaire? Go get urself some good players Jack and put some asses in seats up there. Tim Leiweke and TFC aren’t screwing around dude. They’re gonna have 2nd highest average attendance when stadium is complete.

  13. There are numerous cities more deserving of an MLS team. I would much rather see MLS stop at 24 and start seeing these other teams go to NASL. We could easily have 24 MLS and 20 NASL teams, all 44 of which would be quality.


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