MLS to listen to three expansion projects tomorrow

Major League Soccer will meet with three MLS expansion candidates on Thursday as MLS Commissioner Don Garber looks to meet his target of 24 teams by the end of the decade.

Sacramento, Las Vegas and Minneapolis representatives will all present their cases to the league office in New York but no firm decisions will be made until after December 6 – at the MLS Board of Governors meeting.

MLS has grown rapidly in recent years and the rate of expansion across the country is showing no signs of slowing down.

New York City FC and Orlando City SC enter the league next season, while Atlanta and Los Angeles FC are set to join in 2017.

David Beckham’s Miami franchise is still hoping to join MLS but problems with stadium plans and other issues are stalling progress.

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Without Miami, the league will have 22 teams in 2017, and two more are expected by 2020.

Three more markets will look to join the rapidly growing league when they present their cases at MLS headquarters tomorrow.

Sacramento has a big support base for soccer and they are already used to filling a soccer specific stadium with over 11,000 fans in USL Pro.

Minnesota is another area with a strong soccer support base but two separate groups will present their cases for an MLS side.

One group owns the current NASL team Minnesota United, while the other owns NFL side Minnesota Vikings and perhaps importantly the new 65,000-seater stadium they are set to move into in 2016.

The third expansion hopeful is Las Vegas but there is so much doubt surrounding the project on the west coast that it is unlikely they will be implemented by the end of the decade.

The city does not currently have a soccer team so it is difficult to know how much people would take to it, and an MLS franchise would have to compete with so many other entertainment outlets.

Major League Soccer looks certain to have at least 24 teams by 2020 and tomorrow’s meeting in New York could set the ball rolling for at least one more MLS franchise.

Who do you think has the strongest case for an MLS expansion franchise?


2 thoughts on “MLS to listen to three expansion projects tomorrow

  1. Minnesota’s bid is split. The NASL franchise has the organization and the fans, but no stadium. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has competing sports franchises. Sacramento has a base of about 10K that will buy season tickets, more if they they get an MLS franchise. Sacramento has a solid stadium plan for a soccer-specific stadium in the urban downtown core. And there is no competition with the Kings, who wind up the NBA season about the time MLS is really cranking up…less competition for the attention of the fans.

    Sacramento is the safest bet. Minnesota needs to unify their bids and look at a soccer specific venue.

    Las Vegas is not really in the conversation. They have no fans, no team, no stadium. They are even farther behind than Miami.

  2. Have to agree that Sacramento looks the best bet for now. If Miami does indeed go ahead, they and Sacramento will more than likely be the final two teams to join MLS this decade, meaning 24 teams by 2020 as Don Garber set out to achieve. Exciting times.

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