Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber has said he is “fascinated” by the prospect of an expansion franchise in Las Vegas 2023.
MLS has been looking for its 30th team ever since Sacramento’s bid went through with San Diego and Phoenix linked as possible destinations.
But recently, Las Vegas has emerged as the most likely expansion market. Behind the project are Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris, who currently own Aston Villa in the Premier League.
The billionaire couple recently branded the name ‘Las Vegas Villains’ if their plans succeeded. Bill Foley – who owns the Las Vegas Knights – as well as another group of investors are also interested in leading the city’s MLS project.
Asked about the possibility of MLS expanding to Las Vegas, Garber acknowledged that it was an interesting opportunity.
“That market, it continues to explode from a population growth perspective,” he said, quoted by ESPN.
“We have seen the success for sure [NHL’s Vegas Golden] Knights and major events. We tested a couple of events with the Gold Cup final. The League Cup final will be there. The Gold Cup final sold out in a few minutes. Las Vegas is an interesting market. We really want to secure our 30th team so that we can have a fully developed league for the World Cup 2026, so we will continue to focus on that market. “
Despite his excitement over the possibility of MLS coming to Las Vegas, Garber said there was still a long way to go before the league decided on its 30th member.
“Wes Edens is one of the most respected investors and operators, and clearly a really, really successful sports team owner. I like him very much personally. We have been fascinated by the opportunity that may be with him, but it is far too early to talk. if it lasts longer than that, he says.