With soccer pitch, professional sports back in play for downtown Las Vegas

Jason Ader and his company partners want to bring a Big league Soccer team to Las Vegas.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman wants a major league team downtown, and any sport will do.

So, as soon as again, Goodman stated she’s willing to pay attention to a plan for pro sports in Las Vegas.

This time, Ader’s group wants to redevelop Cashman Field on Las Vegas Boulevard on the edge of downtown into a home for professional soccer.

It could indicate first drawing a minor league soccer club in hopes of revealing Big league Soccer that Las Vegas is a feasible market. That group would share the center with the Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball group during an interim duration before aiming to land an MLS franchise, Ader said Friday.

“This is the first step of a thousand-step process,” stated Ader, who possesses a Manhattan fund management business and is a director and investor of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

“It’s not the simplest offer. However it’s a location that works,” Ader said. “So, let’s begin the process with the city.”

Goodman stated the city is open to hearing a proposition by Ader group, which is not asking the city for public dollars.

“We need something considerable to consider,” Goodman said after a supermarket ribbon-cutting Friday. “We need to see something.”

For the Cashman soccer proposal, Ader is teaming with Scott Watt and Bob Schulman of Watt Cos. and Laus Abdo of AGP Capital. Assisting the group is Roger Tabor, a Las Vegas financial investment supervisor and supporter for expert soccer in downtown Las Vegas.

Ader said to build a soccer-specific arena and buy a MLS franchise would cost from $300 million to $500 million. A second option is to pursue a minor league franchise and construct a fan base.

The group’s plan is to not just rebuild Cashman for soccer, however to redevelop the blighted Las Vegas Boulevard corridor from U.S. 95 to the Cashman complex into what the group is calling “Cashman Village.” The mixed-use development would include four-story multi-family buildings, offices, restaurants and retail with a concentrate on walking, according to an Aug. 11 letter from Abdo to the city.

But the long-lasting strategy is to land a new or existing MLS franchise, Abdo composed.

This effort follows a failed effort by the city and its partners, Findlay Sports & & Home entertainment and Baltimore-based The Cordish Cos., to land an MLS group. The league in February dumped Las Vegas from its expansion list and eventually chose Minneapolis.

The Findlay/Cordish proposal consisted of public financing for a new $200 million, 24,000-seat soccer arena in Symphony Park, which showed politically unstable.

The Ader group would have to cut an offer with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which handles the 50-acre Cashman complex, which includes an exhibition hall and theater and is accessible from Las Vegas Boulevard, Maryland Parkway and East Washington Avenue.

“Under our memorandum of understanding with the city of Las Vegas, they are evaluating any proposed concepts for the redevelopment of Cashman. Our understanding is that this job is in the initial phases and we haven’t had a discussion with the city about it, so it’s prematurely for us to hypothesize,” LVCVA spokesperson Jeremy Handel stated.

In addition, a contract would have to be reached with the 51s, the New York Mets’ Triple A affiliate of the Pacific Coast League. The 51s’ owners– Summerlin designer Howard Hughes Corp. and several Summerlin locals– want to move the team from downtown to a brand-new ballpark near Downtown Summerlin.

“We believe professional soccer may be a suitable and better usage for Cashman as long as it consists of support for moving the 51’s baseball group to a brand-new stadium in Summerlin,” stated Tom Warden, a Howard Hughes Corp. Summerlin spokesman.

Today, there is no imminent ballpark plan for Summerlin, and the 51s have a lease with the LVCVA to dip into Cashman Field until 2022. The 51s paid rent of $321,171 to the LVCVA in 2014.

There have to do with 10 sports places where baseball groups share centers with soccer clubs, including Yankee Stadium. One of MLS’s most successful teams, the Portland Timbers, plays in a former Triple A baseball park that was reconstructed for soccer.

51s president Don Logan is open to seeing exactly what the group has to offer and stated developing a minors soccer team as a precursor to an MLS club could “show to the powers that be that it’s sensible in Las Vegas.”

The city also is evaluating the Cashman complex for a drone testing dome and as an incubator for green companies.

Councilman Bob Coffin stated having a soccer arena at Cashman is “one of the potential usages.” He stated it might co-exist with other usages.

MLS officials could not be reached for comment Friday.

Contact reporter Alan Snel at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-387-5273. Follow him: @BicycleManSnel

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