Who has the money?
Major League Soccer’s All Star Game is on July 31 and like every other league all-star game, it is corporate face time for the owners and their marketing partners. The game is meaningless but there are parties and business opportunities for the owners and business partners. The MLS owners will also be checking out people who want to gain entry into the league as in putting a team on the pitch. Major League Soccer is expanding and looking for a 28th, 29th, and 30th franchise and while the MLS owners are at it, they might get a 31st and 32nd team out of the process. The league confirmed it met with interested parties from Charlotte and St. Louis recently and is working closely with potential Sacramento owners. It is widely assumed that Sacramento and St. Louis will be getting the 28th and 29th franchises. But there is a push to get a 30th franchise and a league statement on expansion was both insightful and vague.
“The ownership groups from Charlotte, Las Vegas, Sacramento, St. Louis and other potential expansion markets are scheduled to attend MLS All-Star week festivities later this month in Orlando.” Four potential ownerships groups have been left out of the statement. Detroit, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Raleigh. Do they have a place in Orlando? In 2017, the MLS hatched a plan to find four ownership groups that could own MLS expansion teams around the United States. The league received interest from 12 cities presumably with owners who could foot the bill for a team. The hope was to award two expansion franchises by the end of 2017 and two more in 2018. The expansion process did not go as planned and just three cities Austin, Cincinnati and Nashville had the right stuff to get teams #25, #26 and #27. The league is still looking for a few expansion cities.