an member station
Professional soccer is coming to Las Vegas.
But a big question will be: How will they play, stopping and running for 90 minutes, in the Vegas desert heat?
The team will be part of the United Soccer League (the only development league that's officially connected to Major League Soccer), and will be the league's 33rd expansion team. The USL already has a team in Reno called the Reno 1868 FC.
When the Las Vegas team plays at Cashman Field, they will share the venue with the Las Vegas 51s, the triple-A minor league team and affiliate of the New York Mets. Dixon said the 51s are planning a move to Summerlin, but that move is not expected to happen before the soccer team moves in.
The two teams' seasons will overlap, during which time the field will have to modified regularly. The soccer team will be paying $6000 per game to use the space.
Dixon says team owner Brett Lashbrook's push to make Las Vegas a soccer town is dependent on fans making home games "more of an event as opposed to just a game" -- starting the day with revelry downtown before rowdily making the trek to Cashman Field for the game itself.
In addition to soccer, Las Vegas is gearing up to host professional hockey and football teams, with talk of wooing the NBA as well. Dixon says professional teams definitely benefit from being in Las Vegas. "We are accustomed to the best entertainment around," she told State of Nevada.
Considering the competition for Las Vegans' entertainment dollars and the lesser popularity of soccer in the U.S., Dixon said, "I don't know that this soccer team... will do spectacular with numbers and attendance, but I think they'll do okay."
She compared her expectations of this team to the Las Vegas 51s - "They don't sell out all the time, but they have great promotions that bring a ton of people... They're the longest-enduring pro sports franchise in Nevada."
Dixon also says Brett Lashbrook is enthusiastically championing the sport in the city in hopes of bringing a Major League Soccer team in the future. Lashbrook has been a key player in past decisions to incorporate USL clubs into MLS.
The team coming to Las Vegas doesn't have a name yet, and the owners are asking for suggestions.
Amber Dixon, sports anchor, KSNV Channel 3