MLS 2014 Top Stories: “Expansion Surge”

Nate Sulat, writing for the MLS official website MLSSoccer.com on Monday, says the 8th biggest story for MLS fans in 2014 is the league’s expansion surge. He notes that the league awarded two new franchises during the year, to Atlanta and Miami, and plans to award one more sometime in the first half of 2015.

About Las Vegas, Sulat writes:

But the inclusion of Atlanta and Miami means that a place like Las Vegas – with very little fanfare until 2014 – still has hope on the basis of their large and rapidly-growing population. The owners have submitted a contentious stadium proposal that will be voted on by the City Council this week.

Both the Miami and Atlanta metro areas hold 5.5-million people each, two and a half times larger than Las Vegas, and the distance between the two (about equal to the distance between Laughlin and Burning Man, both inside Nevada’s borders) holds another couple of million potential fans.

You won’t find more than a few tens of thousands of additional people within a two hour drive of Las Vegas, thought It’s statistically valid to bump our population up by a half million visitors (40,000,000 annual visitors x average stay of 4.3 days ÷ 365 days a year), which still leaves us less than half of Miami or Atlanta.

Sulat quotes MLS commissioner Garber:

“(Atlanta) is much different than the average American or Canadian city,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in April at the team’s introductory press conference. “It’s incredibly diverse. It’s very young and most of those young people are working at corporations downtown and are living downtown.”

Las Vegas, of course, is also much different than the average American or Canadian city – we’re already the entertainment capital of the world, home to Penn & Teller, Wayne Newton, David Copperfield, Celene Dion, BB King, and, this month anyway, KISS. We’re also different than Atlanta, in that we do not have very many people working at corporations downtown or living downtown.

Here’s the entire story at MLSSoccer.com.

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3 Comments on "MLS 2014 Top Stories: “Expansion Surge”"

  • Tyce Heldenbrand says

    You must have (conveniently, I assume) forgotten that Miami is not a “Done Deal” yet. Their stadium vote has been denied for a 3rd time with no new options on the table currently. Do I hear the phones ringing from Miami to Las Vegas about a re-location of the Miami franchise? Hmmm. The stadium now has a better opportunity that you think.

  • I didn’t see how Beckham’s problems getting local government to buy him a stadium were relevant to a comparison of the characteristics of cities where MLS thinks it has a chance of making money to our city, so I did not include it in this post. But I thank you for your input.

  • Tyce Heldenbrand says

    By that, I meant that there “could” be 2 expansion teams available for award between Sacramento, Minneapolis, and Las Vegas when reading your comment that Las Vegas is an unlikely winner in a franchise. Surely, something could get done in Miami still considering their problems, but since MLS will award the available franchise in the 1st half of 2015, maybe those subtle whispers we’ve been hearing about will create a bolting out of Miami and create another opportunity. I think the odds could be better than many think.

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