The Interest By Money People In Getting An MLS Expansion Franchise Is Mind Boggling

They like expansion money apparently.

The Major League Soccer All-Star Game is a week away but there will be plenty of action leading up to the event as investors line up in an attempt to get into the league. Apparently, there are a bunch of well-heeled individuals who are ready to spend money to buy a Major League Soccer expansion franchise and park it in Las Vegas or Raleigh or Detroit or Charlotte or Indianapolis or Phoenix. All are vying for the MLS’s 30th franchise. The wooing of MLS owners is ongoing.  The MLS decided in 2017 to increase the size of the league from 24 teams to 28 franchises. Despite having problems finding cities, the league added Austin, Cincinnati and Nashville. The league then decided that it didn’t have to stop at 28 teams, why not add two more? There is a thought that Sacramento and St. Louis will get the 28th and 29th teams.  But the question for MLS Commissioner Don Garber is why the sudden interest in Las Vegas or Charlotte or Phoenix or Detroit or Indianapolis when those cities didn’t make the 2017 expansion cut? The answer seems to be money as investors in those cities are ready to spend it on joining the MLS.

Indianapolis, flush with state money for a stadium, is in the mix for that sixth franchise. The Indy 11 soccer franchise currently is a member of the second tier United Soccer League. The Indy 11 franchise ownership group, without state money for a stadium in 2017, applied to join the MLS during the league’s hunt to add four teams but was passed over. The league may not stop at 30 teams, with all of the big moneyed people around, the MLS could go to 32 teams. All of this interest in the MLS seems a bit strange in contrast to Garber saying the league has to change its business model and become a seller’s league.