MLS rules out Las Vegas for potential expansion team

Major League Soccer has eliminated Las Vegas as a potential destination for an expansion team.

In a letter sent to Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman, MLS commissioner Don Garber wrote that "given the timing of our expansion rollout and the uncertainty as to when we might be able to move forward in Las Vegas, we are no longer considering Las Vegas as an expansion market until after 2018."

Las Vegas was competing with Minneapolis and Sacramento in what could be the final spot available in Garber's plan to expand MLS to 24 teams by 2020.

Atlanta and Los Angeles FC are set to become the league's 21st and 22nd teams in 2017. That leaves two spots remaining, with one of those tentatively promised to David Beckham's group in Miami.

Las Vegas' plan to build a $200 million soccer stadium faced opposition and with a ballot measure set for June, the league decided to move on.

Goodman also responded to the letter, writing in a statement: "Of course I am disappointed that the MLS did not select Las Vegas for an expansion team in the 2017 or 2018 seasons. I still believe our city would be the perfect location for a major league team, and I am saddened that we miss out on the opportunity to gain $450 million in downtown investment and job creation.

"A team coming here would have been the catalyst for other developments in the downtown. I hope the MLS will still consider Las Vegas for a team beyond 2018, and that the league's decision will not be a negative influence on other major league franchises coming to our city."

MLS has also met with groups interested in brining a team to St. Louis and San Antonio, Texas.