Aston Villa co-owners in talks with MLS over Las Vegas expansion team

Aston Villa co-owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris are in talks to bring an Major League Soccer expansion team to Las Vegas. 

Commissioner Don Garber made the announcement on Friday, revealing the conversations are in their final stages to have Edens and Sawiris secure the rights to the possible new MLS team. 

"As we witnessed at this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup, at Leagues Cup and other marquee soccer matches in Las Vegas throughout the years, the city has a passionate soccer fan base, and we believe it could be a terrific MLS market," Garber said in a statement.

"We look forward to finalizing our agreement with Wes and Nassef."

If talks are successful, the Las Vegas side would be Major League Soccer’s 30th team. 

"As one of the world's premier sports and entertainment markets with a fast-growing and diverse community, Las Vegas is the ideal home for an MLS expansion team," Edens and Sawiris said in a joint statement. 

"We believe that the rising popularity of soccer and development of talent in the United States puts the MLS on a path to becoming one of the top leagues in the world. This is an important step to build on our relationship with the MLS. We're optimistic we'll reach a final agreement soon to bring a world-class franchise and significant economic and cultural benefits to the greater Las Vegas community."

The ongoing discussions are set to include market analysis, the planning for state-of-the-art practice facility, corporate offices and stadium. Plans also include building a soccer-specific stadium with a capacity of approximately 25,000 seats and indoor playing capability, a requirement by Don Garber, according to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle. 

The entire cost of the stadium, expansion fee and other startup costs could approach $1 billion.

Edens is no stranger to the American market, as he co-owns current NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks. Edens and Swiris are also part of a group who filed to trademark the name Las Vegas Villains tied to a professional soccer franchise back in June 2021.

Source : 90min