Cincin­nati among 4 ex­pan­sion fi­nal­ists

The Columbus Dispatch - - Sports Report College Football Broadcasting Mls - From wire re­ports

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.

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