Las Vegas Villains may become the newest Major League Soccer series as the league expands to 30 teams in 2023.
MLS has been looking for its next expansion page since Sacremento’s bid expired after a major investor withdrew when the pandemic began.
According to several reports, a consortium may be ready to strike by bringing a team to Las Vegas. As reported by Review Journal, the group already has the brand name “Las Vegas Villains” if their bid succeeds.
Leading the project are billionaires Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris, who currently own Aston Villa in the Premier League. Eden also owns half of the Milwaukee Bucks that recently won the NBA Championship.
Las Vegas is an attractive proposition for MLS. The newly opened Allegiant Stadium, home to the city’s NFL franchise Raiders, has a capacity of 61,000 and a stadium division deal is likely. There is also a captive audience of tourists who can help increase the league’s reputation worldwide.
However, Las Vegas is not the only city competing for an MLS spot. Both San Diego and Phoenix are also believed to be interested. There is no need to make a quick decision with the successful bidders who are not scheduled to start competing until the 2023 season.
These expansion plans will take MLS up to 30 teams in total. Most recently, Inter Miami, Nashville SC and Austin FC have joined the league, while Charlotte FC and St. Louis City FC will enter the battle in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
MLS has not ruled out further expansion plans in the future. Among the cities that may be interested in this are Louisville, Indianapolis and Detroit. Sacramento may also revive its bid, as can any of the three candidates for the 2023 expansion that miss this time around.