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Councilman Coffin: Downtown Soccer Stadium Is Dead Deal

Las Vegas city councilman Bob Coffin told KNPR’s State of Nevada the proposed soccer stadium downtown is effectively dead after a judge ruled Las Vegas residents will get a chance to vote on city funding for the project.

“I think it’s a done deal. I think it is a dead now. I think it’s a regrettable shame,” Coffin said.

The judge ruled Friday that those opposed to the idea had enough signatures to put the issue on the June ballot.

The decision is a huge blow to Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who has pushed for most of her four years as mayor, to bring some kind of professional sports team to Las Vegas.

And she thought she was close. A month ago, Goodman and three council members voted to help fund the privately owned soccer stadium to the tune of about $56 million. They then killed an attempt to allow residents to vote on funding.

However, the three opponents of the public money for the project, headed by councilman Bob Beers, got enough signatures to put the question to the voters.

Beers believes allowing the voters to decide is a common sense approach versus an old way of handling politics.

“It ends old-style politics running city hall, doling out fat checks for your friends,” Beers said.

The stadium is being developed by Cordish Companies and Findlay Sports and Entertainment on a piece of land in Symphony Park near the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Those opposed to the plan would prefer to funnel the money slated for the stadium to parks and other city programs. Supporters believe the stadium is a key element to revitalizing the entire downtown core.

But both Beers and Coffin said it is more than that. Beers believes another developer could take the land where the stadium would stand for a project that benefits more people like a housing project.

For his part, Coffin is open to new ideas for the property but he believes no matter what goes there it will need public funding because of the pollution left by the Union Pacific Railroad.

“You can’t do it without priming the pump so they don’t run into a bottomless pit of pollution that will then skyrocket the price,” Coffin said.

He also points out that city money was used to build the Smith Center. 


Bob Beers, council member, Las Vegas City Council

Bob Coffin, council member, Las Vegas City Council 
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Bob Beers, council member, Las Vegas City Council

Bob Coffin, council member, Las Vegas City Council 

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.