MLS Enters Exclusive Negotiations For Vegas Team

    • MLS has reportedly entered an exclusive negotiating agreement with Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris for an expansion team.
    • The ownership group of the 30th team will reportedly pay a significant entrance fee.

Major League Soccer has reportedly entered an exclusive negotiating agreement with billionaires Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris to bring the league’s 30th team to Las Vegas.

The league has been working to expand from 27 to 30 teams, with Charlotte FC beginning play this season and St. Louis kicking off in 2023.

Phoenix and San Diego were among potential expansion cities named by the league.

  • Edens was part of an investment group that purchased the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014, which also landed the franchise the $524 million Fiserv Forum in 2018. 
  • The same year, Eden and Sawiris purchased the Premier League’s Aston Villa
  • Sawiris serves as Aston Villa’s executive chairman, director of Adidas AG, and executive chairman of investment company NNS Sarl, among other positions.

Edens is also the co-founder of Fortress Investment Group, a firm backing Brightline West, a high-speed rail project working to connect Las Vegas to Los Angeles by 2028. The investment group is reportedly looking to build the MLS stadium next to the site of the train station.

Possible Name for Vegas?

In June, Edens and Sawiris were part of a group that filed to trademark “Las Vegas Villains” in connection to a professional soccer team.

The pair said they’re “optimistic we’ll reach a final agreement soon.” MLS commissioner Don Garber emphasized in December that the 30th team would not begin play until after 2023.