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.