Las Vegas officially has a pro soccer team. The United Soccer League awarded a team to owner Brett Lashbrook and the city at Zappos Theatre today.
1. Team Name Gets a Vote
Fans get to decide the name of the team in an online vote. The six finalists are:
Las Vegas FC
Las Vegas Lights
Las Vegas Action
Las Vegas Silver
Those are malleable names, as the team is looking for fan input on different parts of the name such as using Las Vegas or just Vegas, as well as if the team should be referred to as a Soccer Club, Football Club or Futbol Club. The team is taking fan votes and input until August 28 on its website. The official name will be announced the following day on August 29.
2. Impressive Number of Season Ticket Deposits
Cashman Field, which seats 9,334, is the future home of Las Vegas’ soccer team. So far, the team has taken more than 1,000 deposits for season tickets. That is a solid number for a USL team that wasn’t official until today. The average attendance at USL games in 2017 is 4,403, with FC Cincinnati leading the way at 20,466 and New York Red Bulls II coming in last at 565 . Season-ticket deposits are $20 and can be placed online.
3. Rival Up North
The city may not have a name for its new soccer team yet, but it already has a rival. Reno 1868 FC began play in the USL last season, and the simple mention of Reno’s team drew boos from the crowd at Zappos Theatre. Las Vegas’ introduction to the USL might be a Nevada derby. Gov. Brian Sandoval suggested that the first ever game be against our Northern neighbors, and Las Vegas’ owner Brett Lashbrook publicly requested that. USL president Jake Edwards’ response: “It’s done.”
4. Goodmans’ Goal Achieved
Bringing pro sports to Downtown has been the goal for Oscar and Carolyn Goodman for nearly two decades. And now it is reality. “If I fell over dead right now, I’d drop dead happy,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman says. “This has been a dream for the past 18 years. My husband talked about pro sports every night.” Mayor Goodman also took some time to tell everyone that Cashman Field will not have parking or traffic problems unlike the current stadium concern with the Raiders relocating.
5. USL Expansion
With 30 teams currently competing in the USL 2017 season, Las Vegas is one of three teams that will join the league next year. The league is working toward a three-division structure, with East, Central and West divisions. “I can imagine a number of teams in each, maybe 13 in each,” Edwards says. “And then there will be a point after 2020 when expansion will stop.”