Home Pro MLS

Major League Soccer Plans to Expand to 28 Teams, Eventually

1127
1
The New England Revolution play the Columbus Crew during a Major League Soccer game in 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. Photo: AP /Mary Schwalm

Now that the Super Bowl is done Jonathan Kraft, the son of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, will turn his attention to the family’s other business, Major League Soccer and that league’s expansion process.

Jonathan Kraft, whose family owns the New England Revolution, will begin the review of the 12 applications that Major League Soccer has received to see if any of the proposals work well enough to fill four slots that have been allocated for the expansion. That would take the number of teams in a league that probably has not made any money in its two-decade existence to 28.

Kraft will look at paperwork from investors from the following cities: Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa.

Charlotte has become somewhat worrisome from a political standpoint. It seems getting public money for a stadium may be a problem. The same could hold true for St. Louis investors. Nashville elected officials are scrambling to put together a publicly funded soccer stadium proposal.

The San Diego bid comes after the city could not reach an agreement with the Spanos family to build a new National Football League state of the art facility for the Spanos business. Dean Spanos took his team to the Los Angeles market. That could be a negative for Kraft as his committee goes through the applications. There is another element to the San Diego bid. San Diego MLS backers think they can get customers who will cross the border from nearby Tijuana, Mexico. The San Diego group also estimates about 6,000 people from the San Diego market go to Tijuana home games in a Mexican soccer league.

The first two expansion teams might be granted by year’s end and start play in 2020. A potential owner rush is on to enter a league that has not shown a profit.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

1 COMMENT

  1. Please, could they have better nicknames for the new teams? The biggest failure of the MLS for me personally is a lack of cool nicknames. True, there are the Earthquakes and the Fire, but there are also Sporting Kansas City and the FC. The Crew and Real Salt Lake do nothing for me. In the MLS, there are no bears (every league should have some Bears in it, or at least a Wolverine), no teams with swords, no teams with feathers, no large cats, no horse teams, and nobody with horns. Maybe name one of the new teams the Berserkers! That would cover most of the major needed categories, (bear, sword, horned Viking helmet). The MLS should take a look at Major League Baseball as an example to follow. The MLB have some creative names, but they also have covered the basics every league needs- bears, the Chicago Cubs; swords, the Pittsburgh Pirates; feathers, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals; large cats, the Detroit Tigers; horse, the Texas Rangers; horns, the New York Yankees. 😉

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here