Cincinnati among 4 expansion finalists
The field of 12 that has been vying for Major League Soccer expansion bids for the better part of a year has been culled to four finalists, and FC Cincinnati is among those making the cut.
MLS on Wednesday announced that soccer organizations in Cincinnati, Sacramento, Nashville and Detroit had been selected to make formal presentations for commissioner Don Garber and the league’s expansion committee.
Sacramento and Nashville are considered the frontrunners, which will allow the league to add one team each to its Eastern and Western conferences. Each winner will pay a $150 million expansion fee.
Presentations to the expansion committee are scheduled for Wednesday, and MLS owners are to discuss expansion when they meet eight days later in New York.
Eight areas were cut from the list Wednesday but remain in contention for later expansion teams: Charlotte, North Carolina; Indianapolis; Phoenix; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; St. Louis; San Antonio; San Diego; and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida.
San Antonio’s bid to land a team has taken a hit since Crew SC began exploring relocating to Austin, Texas. Last month, an official leading San Antonio’s bid, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, requested an investigation into the move, and a statement from his office Wednesday said he “looks forward to a full report from the District Attorney.”
FC Cincinnati cleared a hurdle Monday when Cincinnati’s city council signed off on spending up to $36 million to help build the team a stadium. The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to build a $15 million parking garage with 1,000 spaces.
Cincinnati City Council then voted 5-3 Wednesday to support an infrastructurefinancing plan.