Vegas City Council on board with pro soccer at Cashman - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Vegas City Council on board with pro soccer at Cashman

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Las Vegas pro soccer 2018. (Courtesy: City of Las Vegas) Las Vegas pro soccer 2018. (Courtesy: City of Las Vegas)

A professional soccer team is on track to be the next pro franchise to call the Valley home. 

An expansion team in the United Soccer League is hoping to start up in Las Vegas and play its home games at Cashman Field.

The USL is the minor league for the MLS, which is the main soccer league in the United States. On Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously to help bring pro soccer to the downtown stadium.

"We know the people of Las Vegas love soccer," Mayor Carolyn Goodman said, using recent international games at Sam Boyd as examples of the excitement around the sport. She said while this would be a minor league team, it would open the door for an MLS club down the line.

"We look at this as a stepping stone ultimately getting to that point," Goodman said. "It's finally happened, we knew it was going to happen."

City leaders were already looking ahead, hoping this move paves the way for a Major League Soccer team to come to Las Vegas. Six of the last ten MLS expansion teams came from lower divisions. City officials said they are hoping to follow the example of Minnesota United and Orlando City, who took just five years to jump from a lower league to the MLS.

The USL team will play at Cashman Field, the 34-year-old stadium in downtown Las Vegas. The soccer team will share the stadium with the Las Vegas 51's, the town's minor league baseball stadium. The soccer team will cover the cost of converting the baseball diamond into a soccer pitch for games.

The team's owner, Brett Lashbrook, said he hopes the team can be an economic boon to the area. 

"We think bringing ten-thousand people down a game, of local fans, right down to downtown Las Vegas is going to create an enormous economic impact which is going to further grow downtown Las Vegas' success," Lashbrook said.

The team will play 20 home games and the average attendance at USL games is 3,400.

Lashbrook also presented renderings of an expansion for the Cashman Field, that he said he hopes is someday in the aging stadium's future. 

But something that may not be in that future is the Las Vegas 51's. The minor league baseball team has been looking to move out of Cashman, the stadium they've called home since the mid-'80s, and move to Summerlin. A 51's spokesperson said on Tuesday that this vote would not affect the desire to move. Before Wednesday's vote, Ward 5 Councilman Ricki Barlow said the team would bring stability to the stadium as the 51's continue to pursue a move out of downtown. 

"This has always been a long term vision of mine, to maintain a professional and recreational presence at Cashman Field," he said before the vote. 

The USL team will pay $6,000 per game as rent to the LVCVA, which operates Cashman Field.  The team is expected to kick off in Feb. or March of 2018. Lashbrook said tickets will cost an average of $15 to $20. 

The team does not have a name yet, and is looking for input from the public on what the franchise should be called.  

Fans can place a $20 deposit (per seat) for season tickets online here. Seat selection is available on a first come, first serve basis. 

In addition, Las Vegas Pro Soccer LLC has invited fans to submit name ideas for the team on their website. Entries are available until July 31 at 11:59 p.m.

Stay with FOX5 for updates on this story and check here to include additional details on the team.  

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