The team hits the pitch in 2025.
San Diego is getting a major league sports expansion team as Major League Soccer has found an ownership group interested in the market which has an available stadium. The fact that Major League Soccer has found an attractive city is not surprising. MLS officials have researched the market for at least a year but the price of the franchise is eye opening. The San Diego ownership is paying the league $500 million for the right to operate beginning in 2025. San Diego has been on Major League Soccer’s radar since 1995.
In case you have not noticed MLS franchises are becoming more expensive to buy. In 2013, the New York City FC ownership group paid a $100 million expansion fee to join the MLS in 2015. In 2019, the FC Cincinnati and the Nashville SC ownership groups each paid $150 million to join the league. National Football League Cleveland Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam bought the Columbus Crew SC franchise in 2018 for $150 million. The Crew’s previous owner was granted a team in Austin, Texas, that joined MLS in April 2021. Shortly after that MLS announced that each ownership group looking for expansion teams would pay a $200 million entrance fee. Sacramento and St. Louis were supposed to be the 28th and 29th teams but the Sacramento bid fell apart however St. Louis entered the league. Then there was another announcement, any potential team owner would have to pay $325 million for an expansion team. The NFL Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper paid $325 million in 2019 to land a franchise. San Diego is probably a good market for Major League Soccer. San Diego has just one Major League team, Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres franchise so in theory there can be some corporate money available for an additional sports franchise. The league will stay at 30 teams for the foreseeable future.
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