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Preliminary deal reached for downtown soccer stadium

Reported by: Kelsey Thomas
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Updated: 8/27/2014 9:53 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV — Public funds would be used to pay 31 percent of the costs of a $200 million downtown arena and professional soccer team, under an agreement announced Tuesday.

The city of Las Vegas, The Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports & Entertainment announced the plan in a news release.

The proposal includes the construction of a 24,000-seat stadium designed specifically for Major League Soccer (MLS).

The new stadium would be home to a Las Vegas-based MLS franchise and located in the city’s downtown Symphony Park area, north of the Smith Center for Performing Arts. The stadium also would be used for other community purposes and events.

At its Sept. 3 meeting, the Las Vegas City Council will vote on a non-binding term sheet. Under the terms of the existing exclusive negotiating agreement between the city, Findlay Sports & Entertainment and The Cordish Companies, the approval of a non-binding term sheet is the next step toward securing an MLS team and building the stadium.

According to the news release, an independent analysis shows the stadium would generate more than to $9 million in annual tax revenue for the state, county, city and other local entities. It is projected to create more than 1,200 jobs, including 525 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs.

The total project cost for the team and stadium including interest on bonds over 30 years is $410 million. Of this amount, 69 percent would be privately funded and 31 percent from public sources. The Findlay-Cordish partnership will be responsible for all costs associated with the professional soccer team.

Revenues used by the city to finance the publicly funded portion of the city-owned stadium would primarily be derived from projected taxes collected from tourists and from public infrastructure funds, according to the statement.

The new stadium would not be built unless the Findlay-Cordish partnership is awarded an MLS team. This private partnership would be responsible for any cost overruns associated with the design and construction of the stadium. Once the stadium is open and operating, the Findlay-Cordish partnership would cover any operating losses during the next 30 years. The plan also calls for the team to enter into a long-term lease.

The partnership between Findlay Sports and Entertainment and The Cordish Companies is 50/50 with respect to the stadium and the team. Findlay Sports & Entertainment is a locally owned company headed by Justin Findlay and principals of Findlay Automotive Group. The company was founded expressly to bring Major League Soccer to Southern Nevada.

The Cordish Companies is one of the largest real estate development companies in the country.


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