Bridgeport Is Not Getting An MLS Franchise In The Near Future


Andre Swanston thinks Bridgeport would be a good spot for the MLS and NWSL.

None of the five Major League sports organizations, MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL or Major League Soccer has Bridgeport, Connecticut on its radar as a potential expansion or relocation site. Bridgeport is the fifth biggest city in New England with about 150,000 people within the city limits. It is not a city with money but south and west of Bridgeport is one of the wealthiest areas of the country, the New York City bedroom community Fairfield County, Connecticut. Bridgeport is about 60 miles from midtown Manhattan and about 60 miles from Hartford.  Size and geography would be against Bridgeport even if a big-time stadium was built next to the I-95 interstate.

But don’t tell that to Andre Swanston, a tech entrepreneur who lives in the Fairfield County town of Ridgefield. Swanston thinks he can land expansion teams in Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, to play in a stadium in Bridgeport. The stadium-village project would also include housing, restaurants and a hotel. Swanston does know that Major League Soccer probably will not be knocking at his door asking for his financial records. But he is discussing some plans that might be more realistic for him and the league such as a soccer youth academy and a team in MLS Next Pro, a lower division affiliated with MLS. Connecticut does not have a major league team. Hartford had a Major League Baseball team in 1876. Hartford had a World Hockey Association team between 1974 and 1979 and then a National Hockey League team between 1979 and 1997. Connecticut officials could not find money for a new arena in Hartford and the team moved to North Carolina. Connecticut had a deal with the National Football League’s New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in 1998 to move the team to Hartford but the deal fell through.

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