Here comes another city.
Are people looking to land a Major League Soccer franchise in search of hitting the motherlode in gold or risking finding fool’s gold? It seems a number of people want to get into a business that has seen its commissioner say that the industry has to change and teams need to start selling players to international clubs. Even though Don Garber sounded an economic alarm, Garber is sifting through various proposals from big money people who want an MLS franchise. It is thought there is just one expansion slot left because unofficially the MLS is ready to welcome Sacramento and St. Louis into the fold as the league’s 28th and 29th franchises. The league owners want 30 teams and there seems to be a full scale onslaught of well-heeled invested headed to Garber’s door looking for the opportunity to sell themselves as the people with the right stuff for the league.
Raleigh, North Carolina investors will announce plans for a $1.9 billion stadium-village that would include a 20-thousand soccer venue. Steve Malik wants to move his North Carolina FC franchise up from the second tier United Soccer League into the MLS. He will work with a Raleigh developer John Kane in an attempt to make that happen. Malik is joining a lineup of investors from various cities that will try to make an impression on Garber and the MLS owners. It seems that just a couple weeks ago Las Vegas was the hot city and a favorite to land an MLS expansion team. A couple weeks before that it was Indianapolis after the Indiana legislature allocated money to help fund the construction of an Indianapolis soccer stadium. The league may consider bids from investors in Charlotte, Detroit and Phoenix. The MLS has not announced a timetable to add 28 and 29. But people with means want MLS franchises right now.