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Group seeking Crew drops bid for Vegas franchise

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The Dispatch wrote Group seeking part ownership of Columbus Crew drops bid for Las Vegas franchise

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

BY SHAWN MITCHELL

The leader of an investor group pursuing an ownership stake in the Columbus Crew is no longer trying to lure a Major League Soccer expansion team to Las Vegas for the 2011 season.

The league did not receive a formal application from a group led by California businessman Mark Noorzai by 5 p.m. today, the deadline for submitting a proposal to become one of two teams that will begin play that year.

Noorzai, of Santa Barbara, Calif., had previously intended to secure an MLS franchise to be the primary tenant in a new $500 million retractable-roof stadium/hotel/casino development in Las Vegas. According to a local sports marketing company working on behalf of Noorzai, partner Jonathan Bloch and other, unidentified investors, Noorzai is committed to adding local investors to the group pursuing a minority share of the Crew and has no intention of moving the team.

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