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Las Vegas' bid for MLS expansion hits major bump

City council appears to lack votes to approve stadium funding.

Findlay Sports and Entertainment

Unless there's a somewhat dramatic change in direction, it appears as though Las Vegas' latest bid to snag a Major League Soccer expansion franchise is effectively dead. Although the preliminary vote on stadium funding was tabled until October, the votes that would make it a reality don't appear to be there.

The latest development came on Wednesday when the seven-person city council was scheduled to vote on the framework of the plan that would supply about $115 million in public funding. With three votes for and three firmly against, the Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian was the swing vote. Her public comments suggested she was leaning against approval of the plan, but she agreed to gather more information and push the vote back a few more weeks.

But even if Tarkanian can be convinced to support the plan, there would still need to be a fifth city councilperson to join in order for the funding to go through. Nevada state law requires a super majority for the council to issue the bonds. That vote would be scheduled for December.

There have been no indications from the developers that they'd be willing to move forward without public financing and without a stadium, MLS surely isn't interested in going to Las Vegas, especially with cities like Sacramento, San Antonio and Minneapolis all pushing forward with their own expansion plans.