Mark Noorzai remains hopeful of bringing MLS to Las Vegas. That he's been trying to bring an expansion club to Las Vegas for more than three years, he said, doesn't conflict with the moves MLS has made in the Northwest.
"I think (MLS commissioner) Don Garber picked the right cities with the right ownership groups," said Noorzai, a California businessman who has specialized in the technology industry. "I'm optimistic that MLS will continue to grow in these difficult economic times."
Noorzai, who has been negotiating for months for a minority ownership position in the Columbus Crew, started the Las Vegas Sports & Entertainment Group three years ago. He said he hasn't slowed down, despite the economy and investor fears, in trying to include Las Vegas on the MLS landscape.
"This is a long-term endeavor," Noorzai told the Las Vegas Sun. "Long-term projects require not just perseverance and hard work, but endurance.
"Times couldn't be better for what we want to do. Times couldn't be better for working on a franchise for Las Vegas. The real estate is reasonable, the banking, the resources and the opportunity couldn't be better."
The ongoing challenge hasn't dissipated Noorzai's bullishness on bringing a pro soccer franchise to Las Vegas.
"I'm very bullish," Noorzai said. "Vegas will always be Vegas. The value of that asset has never changed. That won't change. I still believe Las Vegas will be the market of markets for MLS."