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September 30, 2014

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Developers want the city to pay $127 million toward stadium

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Cordish Cos.

Artist’s rendering of proposed stadium.

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 | 3:58 p.m.

A proposed $200 million soccer stadium at Symphony Park in downtown Las Vegas would require 41 percent public financing through public infrastructure funds and projected taxes collected from tourists, the developers announced today.

Total cost to the city, including interest payments, would be $127.1 million.

The Las Vegas City Council will vote Sept. 3 on non-binding terms to build the stadium, which is proposed to accommodate up to 24,000 seats. The Cordish Cos. and Findlay Sports & Entertainment, the partnership attempting to bring Major League Soccer to Las Vegas, would pay $100 million to acquire a franchise and pay 59 percent of the stadium construction costs.

The stadium would owned by the city and leased to the developers for 30 years, according to a term sheet. With interest payments, the final cost for the team and stadium would be $410 million, of which 69 percent would be privately funded.

The stadium would generate more than $9 million in annual tax revenue, according to figures provided by Cordish and Findlay. The project would create 1,200 jobs, including 700 permanent positions, according to the developers.

Click to enlarge photo

Artist's rendering of proposed stadium.

“We’ve been working hard with the city of Las Vegas and the MLS to make this a reality," said Justin Findlay, managing partner of Findlay Sports & Entertainment in a statement. "It will be extremely exciting for us and our community to have its first major professional sports team.”

Developers will pay for costs associated with overruns to build the stadium, and Findlay-Cordish will be responsible for operating losses over 30 years of the lease.

The MLS stadium in Philadelphia is 60 percent publicly funded and in Kansas City, it's 75 percent funded by the public, developers said. The Chicago Fire's stadium is 100 percent publicly funded.

“Las Vegas deserves and will absolutely support professional sports," said Blake Cordish, Vice President of The Cordish Companies in a statement. "Time and again, downtown sports venues are a proven catalyst for broader urban revitalization.”

If the non-binding terms are approved, the groups would present a binding development agreement to the council in December. If the Findlay-Cordish partnership doesn't secure an MLS expansion team, the stadium would not be built.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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