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St. Louis, San Diego, Sacramento among 12 teams to submit MLS expansion bids

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A total of 12 contenders are set to duke it out for the remaining spots up for grabs in MLS expansion.

By the time Tuesday’s submission deadline expired, 12 teams had submitted official expansion bids to MLS headquarters, showing willingness to pay the $150 million fee to join the league. When all was said and done, bids were officially received from  Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis and Tampa-St. Petersburg.

The expansion committee, which is led by the New England Revolution’s Jonathan Kraft, will begin vetting candidates in February with stadium financing being a major factor in selections. The league expects to announce its two selections by the end of the year with those teams set to begin play in 2020 while two additional clubs will join at a later date.

“Major League Soccer began with 10 clubs back in 1996, and we now have 12 markets vying to secure a team in our next round of expansion,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “That’s a strong statement about the League and the growth of the sport in the United States and Canada.

“We would like to thank all of the groups for submitting their expansion applications, and we have been encouraged by the support from government officials, corporate leaders and fan enthusiasm in each market.  We look forward to reviewing the applications and meeting with the MLS Expansion Committee in the coming months.”

What do you think of the candidates? Which do you see as favorites?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. MLS has been and remains all about one priority..profits for investor/owners aka the MLS and their illegal SES guarnatees this. the facts are out there that the league has lost money every year and now survives on its franchise fees..and the quality is still crap…on par with englands div 2 at best…like Trump, supporters are blind to the true agenda of this league and once expansion ends the MLS will see serious revenue problems and the quality will again decrease

    • Current cap is roughly 3.8MM per team. If four bids are accepted that’s $400MM and would bring the number of teams to 28 including LAFC and Miami. 1% per team of that is 4mm which would double the salary cap. That won’t happen of course, but would love to be wrong. So where is the money going? The owners? Certainly not to player salaries and improving the league in that way. Even with just 1% going into player salaries that still leave 288MM for the owners if we have 28 teams.

  2. I wonder what the informed SBI readership thinks about what is going on with the Sacramento bid being heisted overnight from the Sacramento Republic group that was the banner waiver? Is this just another Seattle Sounder situation?

  3. US Soccer is booming. That is what I think. $1.8 billion willing to be invested. (Don’t worry whiners you can still say it is a bubble. Ponzi scheme bubble that will crash)

    I would like to know when US soccer broke the $1.8 billion mark for all of US soccer money invested. 2 years ago?

    This will now be a fraction of one league.

    • MLS must pay you bro.

      Seriously, no other soccer league in the world requires an expansion fee. What would MLS’s bottom line look like with out the $100MM expansion fees from NYCFC and LAFC and the smaller ones from ATL and MN.

      Where is all that expansion fee money going. Its certainly not going into the salary cap which is still even after increases ridiculously low.

      Go ahead, flame away after all MLS is paying you for it.

      • I have to ask… do you even watch MLS? The product is ever improving… The league has made a few errors here and there and I think we would all be ignorant to say that some bias does not exist but by ponying up these expansion fees… it shows that the potential ownership group is in it for the long haul… MLS is on solid footing right now…

      • I’ve watched MLS since the early 2000s when it was really bad. I didn’t say anything about the product on the field. It has improved greatly since when I first followed the league. I remember the NASL folding as a kid and what that did to US Soccer. Thankfully MLS is not the old NASL but what is concerning is the large lack of transparency in regards to how the league actually works financially. All we really know is what the players get paid. SUM is another strange animal within the constructs of US Soccer. Traffic Sports a foreign corporation pretty much ran the new version of NASL our second division into the ground. We have one of the most convoluted business structures for any soccer pyramid in the world.

        My question remains unanswered…

        Where is all the expansion fee money going? Certainly not into player salaries, the salary cap is still ridiculously low.

        Also, I think its quite obviously Quit Whining is a paid poster having read his post thru the years.

      • Joe, expansion fees are divided evenly among the teams as compensation for league revenues now being divided by a larger number of teams. All you need is a working understanding of cutting and eating pies

      • NE Revs…. In other words you’re saying its a Ponzi scheme.

        A Ponzi scheme (/ˈpɒn.zi/; also a Ponzi game)[1] is a fraudulent investment operation where the operator, an individual or organization, pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operators by new investors, rather than from profit earned through legitimate sources

      • Joe, expansion fees work the same in MLS as they do in the NFL, NBA, NHL, etc. Nobody is arguing any of those leagues are ponzi schemes. Take a lap

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