Friday, 19 October, 2018

League officials: Raleigh not getting MLS franchise in 2020

Branden Camp Branden Camp
Rita Gibson | 29 November, 2017, 19:21

MLS announced it has selected Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento as the finalists for the first two expansion spots.

It looks like neither Charlotte nor Raleigh will be getting a Major League Soccer team anytime soon. Each victor will pay a $150 million expansion fee. Those markets do, however, remain in contention for the next round of expansion.

Owners and Officials representing Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento will meet with the MLS Expansion Committee on December 6.

The quick and comprehensive commitment from the city, its growing profile and global cache, and the wealth of majority owner John Ingram-who hails from a renowned local family-have lifted Music City into the lead. Nagle is the chairman and CEO of the Sacramento Republic FC. The group said in July it was starting pre-construction activity for a 19,621-seat downtown stadium.

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Two more expansion teams will be picked later. Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star David Beckham was tentatively awarded a Miami team in 2014, but that is contingent on a stadium site he has thus far failed to secure.

The tough question at the end of the road - one that Garber and Co. presumably (hopefully?) have considered and for which they have a plan - is: what happens when the league finally reaches 28 teams and the $100-150 million expansion fees, which have become the most reliable injection of consistent revenue for the league, come to an end? The Cincinnati City Council on Monday approved a plan for the city to invest up to $36 million in infrastructure such as roads around a privately funded stadium. That cost doesn't include building a stadium.

Detroit's group is seen as having the poorest chance after announcing November 1 it would use Ford Field, home of the NFL's Lions.

If a team was granted to Detroit the team could play at Ford Field, which was a move supported by the Ford family, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores.

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