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Bill Foley honors Oct. 1 responders with potential MLS team name

It appears the race to bring a Major League Soccer team to Las Vegas could be a battle between “Heroes” and “Villains.”

Foley Entertainment, founded by Golden Knights owner Bill Foley, on Aug. 25 filed to trademark Las Vegas Heroes, tied to an expansion soccer team, according to United States Patent and Trademark Office records.

The trademark filing comes on the heels of a group led by billionaires Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris, who co-own the Premier League’s Aston Villa soccer club, filing to trademark Las Vegas Villains, also tied to a potential soccer team.

Foley said the name he filed to trademark was inspired by the area’s response to the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017.

“We thought Las Vegas Heroes would be a great name after the tragedy of Oct. 1,” Foley said Monday.

Foley said his group could partner with a team from England’s Premier League, something Edens’ group plans with Aston Villa.

MLS officials weren’t available for comment on the trademark filing.

“It’s a slow process, and we’ve talked to the (MLS), and there’s obviously a franchise available, as the Sacramento franchise didn’t come together,” Foley said. “We’re working with a local entity in terms of building a stadium, and that looks very positive.”

MLS is looking at expanding to a 30th franchise, and league Commissioner Don Garber has said Las Vegas, San Diego and Phoenix are possibilities. The league is set to expand from 27 teams to 29 with the addition of Charlotte in 2022 and St. Louis in 2023. Sacramento lost its financial backing after it was awarded the 30th franchise.

The unnamed group with which Foley Entertainment is working has a large piece of land and strong sports and entertainment ties to the valley, Foley said. Plans also would call to build soccer and tennis academies around the possible stadium.

“We would own a part of the stadium and, of course, we would own the team,” Foley said. “Our piece of it is primarily the front office, and then I would be involved on the soccer side.”

When asked about the opposing group that is also trying to land an MLS team in Las Vegas and its “Villains” name, Foley said, “I think the Heroes always win.”

Foley said the MLS franchise pursuit has a lot of moving parts, but he likes how his group is positioned.

“Lots of different things going on kind of all at once,” he said. “It’s been moving along, and we believe we’re in a pretty good position to execute on this.”

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