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Las Vegas City Council Votes To Move Ahead With Downtown Soccer Stadium

After three hours of discussion, the Las Vegas City Council voted to move forward with the proposed downtown stadium under the newest plan presented by the developers and city staff, during the council meeting Wednesday.

In a four to three vote Wednesday afternoon, council members approved the latest terms of the agreement which include $133 million in up-front capital, $10 million in tax credits and nearly $60 million in public money from the city.

Councilman Bob Beers, mayor Pro-tem Stavros Anthony and Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian all voted ‘no.’

Anthony referenced an earlier meeting where the developers and city staff were directed to cut the city’s financial involvement, saying he didn’t believe cutting it by just $3 million was “working towards no use of public money.”

The decision comes after months of negotiations between the developers, Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment, and the city of Las Vegas about how much public money should be used. The developers will increase the amount they’re paying to $143.5 million.

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They will also be responsible for paying for the operations at the stadium, getting the team to the city and another $250 million in development for the surrounding area.

Both Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Councilman Ricky Barlow gave rousing speeches about the importance of using public money to improve the area.

In the end, it came down to Councilman Bob Coffin who, at one point, did not support the stadium but once the city was able to get new parks as part of the deal he decided to vote ‘yes.’

In an interview earlier in the week with KNPR’s State of Nevada, Coffin said he would vote for the stadium.

“I will because the move of the $3 million of hotel tax from the parks program was a killer deal. Instead, it’s at $1.5 million and we use it to bond and build parks and rehabilitate old parks primarily on the east side, which is the area I represent,” Coffin said. 

While the city has approved the plan to move forward with the stadium, directing staff to have a final deal in place by February, it is really up to Major League Soccer.

Related Story: Las Vegas Makes Its Pitch For Major League Soccer

If the league does not decide to put its next expansion team in Las Vegas, the stadium will not be built. 

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