At today’s Board of Governors meeting in New York, Major League Soccer finalized the process it will use to determine its next expansion clubs. In its release, the league reaffirmed its commitment to Miami and said it would add four more clubs in the near future.
The fee for clubs 25 and 26 was set at $150 million. Applications are due by the end of January and the league expects to decide on the first two clubs in the second or third quarter of 2017. The timeline for selecting teams 27 and 28, along with the fee, will be decided following the submission of applications.
Applicants will be judged on:
- Ownership: committed, local, necessary resources to invest in infrastructure
- Stadium: comprehensive plan
- Location: strong soccer and sports support, desirable geographic location, attractive to corporate sponsors and television partners
The MLS expansion committee and Commissioner Don Garber will review the applications conduct meetings in the prospective cities. The committee consists of ownership representatives Jonathan Kraft (New England Revolution), Andrew Hauptman (Chicago Fire), Anthony Precourt (Columbus Crew SC), Phil Rawlins (Orlando City SC) and Jay Sugarman (Philadelphia Union).
The cities that were specifically noted in today’s MLS announcement as having “publicly expressed interest” are Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa/St. Petersburg.