2017 MLS Expansion Finalists Announced

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NASHVILLE, TN - JULY 29: A general view of the stands as 56,232 fans break the record for the most attended Soccer game in the state of Tennessee during the second half of the 2017 International Champions Cup between Tottenham and Manchester City. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

New York, NY. (November 29, 2017) – Four locations have been named MLS expansion finalists. Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, and Sacramento are the finalists for the next two expansion spots.

2017 MLS Expansion Finalists Announced

The final four is as follows:

Cincinnati: Carl H. Lindner III – Co-CEO of American Financial Group and Owner, Chairman and CEO of FC Cincinnati; Scott Farmer – CEO of Cintas Corporation.

Detroit: Dan Gilbert – Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans, Inc.; Tom Gores – Owner of the Detroit Pistons and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity.

Nashville: John Ingram – Chairman of Ingram Industries Inc. and CEO Nashville Soccer Holdings; Wilf Family – owners of the Minnesota Vikings; Turner Family – Managing Partners of MarketStreet Enterprises.

Sacramento: Kevin Nagle – Managing Partner of Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings and Minority Owner of the Sacramento Kings. Jed York – CEO of the San Francisco Forty-Niners. Mark Friedman – President of Fulcrum Property Group and Minority Owner of the Sacramento Kings, and other limited partners.

The four groups will present their cases for expansion on December 6th in New York City. The MLS Board of Governors will meet on December 14th to discuss the previous meeting. A decision is expected by the end of the season. MLS added that the other eight markets that applied- Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa/St. Petersburg- are not out of the running for a future expansion spot.
Nashville and Sacramento appear to be the frontrunners for the opportunity to join the league.

Detroit’s bid to use the Detroit Lions’ home, Ford Field, wasn’t a thrilling idea for the league. Even though Cincinnati finally got approval for funds from city council, it’s still unclear which of their three possible sites they’ll choose. However, Nashville and Sacramento already have solid stadium plans in place with the Sacramento group already preparing their location for construction.

Next season Los Angeles FC will become the 23rd team in the league and expansion talks continue with David Beckham and his investment group about a team joining MLS in Miami. The league is continuing with their plans to expand to 28 teams in the coming year.

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