- Seth Klarman in negotiations with Las Vegas City Council over the sale of land in which a stadium would be built
- Despite COVID-19 cloud felt all over, the plan to bring the MLS franchise to Las Vegas looks to be still on
- The proposal of bringing the MLS to Vegas brought back on future agenda amid the worldwide pandemic
- Plans to bring MLS to Vegas looks personal
- Potential addition of two more MLS teams by 2022 would likely have Las Vegas become an option
Becoming a prominent American investor and the manager of the Baupost Group, Seth Klarman had to squeeze every dollar out of a deal.
Quizzed about his attempted purchase of land from Las Vegas on which the MLS franchise expansion would see a stadium built, a close associate with Klarman said, ‘I would think at this point he smells blood in the water.’
The description of the MLS agreement comes out interestingly considering the amount of money the sport is bleeding currently.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has seen two negotiations windows between the entity representing the Boston-based billionaire and the Las Vegas City Council extended with October viewed as the month to revisit a new timeline.
With the effects caused by COVID-19, the immediate assumptions would be that the negotiation teams would part ways, that the attempt to bring MLS to Vegas by Mayor Goodman would fall short, that at this worrying times where budgets are being slashed, the city would not even give a second worrying about the ambition.
However, we tend to believe that the process is not on life support as yet.
There is a belief that Goodman is likely to push this ambition forward despite the economic downturn the pandemic has caused.
Why you may ask? The proposal was brought back to the future agendas of the city while the world is in the middle of a pandemic. The truth is that someone wants MLS in Vegas and not Vegas needing MLS!
We are once again debating on financing stadiums using public money. The agenda behind it has always been to land on the franchise by handling Klarman the land to develop via taxation. Either through the property, tourism, or other forms.
That, as it sounds, is not a good thing.
Of course, the Cashman Field in question and the surrounding area needs a whole revamping. However, in as much as the returns of an NFL team to an MLS team do not exist on the same wavelength, it was financially unwise to use the same formula while raising Allegiant Stadium.
What’s there, in today’s world, is a specific group wanting to land on a sports team and will support almost all levels of subsidy to see this happen.
But, if you accept the method that sees the existence of such a stadium, then the soccer bit might also work.
Why you may ask? Brett Lashbrook, Las Vegas Lights FC owner, for example, has done an incredibly outstanding job of growing a passionate fan base for the second-division club. So this drives the point that it is possible for a team with better players, in a new facility, and playing in the US most prestigious league, to increase such interest.
Currently, MLS is enjoying more popularity thanks to the better players joining, more sale of tickets, and more people watching the action from home. But, a majority of the teams are still losing millions.
So what is needed? More profitable media deals. Simple. Having better-consolidated television rights will reduce the margin between the solvent and stoppage.
Nothing has changed
The MLS continues to pocket millions of dollars thanks to the addition of franchises that realizes expansion fees. This is always the main source of revenue for the league.
Potential addition of two more MLS teams by 2022 to make 32 teams would likely have Las Vegas become an option should the Klarman deal go through and the 25,000 seater stadium is built.
This whole scenario means that nothing has changed over the last 13 months of how the process would work. Klarman gets his land with the vast support of public money, acquires the Lights, have investors come in to support the MLS part and build a stadium once granted a team.
This ladies and gentlemen, has every chance of happening soon as an expansion check is brought out!