Nashville Is 1 Of 4 Finalists For MLS Expansion Team
Major League Soccer has announced that four cities are competing for the next two MLS expansion slots, and one of the finalists is Nashville. The other three are Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento.
The four expansion bidders will make formal presentations to MLS Commissioner Don Garber and the league's Expansion Committee on Dec. 6 in New York. The two winners will be announced before the end of 2017.
The Nashville ownership group is led by John Ingram, chairman of Ingram Industries Inc. and CEO of Nashville Soccer Holdings, the Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, and the Turner family, managing partners of MarketStreet Enterprises.
The league, which was founded in 1993 as part of the U.S. bid to host the 1994 World Cup, has 22 teams, with 19 in the United States and three in Canada.
The four finalists were among 12 markets that submitted formal bids in January for a total of four expansion slots as part of the league's expansion to 28 teams. Los Angeles Football Club, which kicks off in 2018, will be the league's 23rd club, while expansion discussions continue in Miami for the 24th.
The league made it clear that while only Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento are being considered for the next two expansion teams, all remaining markets are under consideration for the two expansion teams that will follow.
Those include Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa/St. Petersburg.