The arms race is on for the next round of MLS expansion. Who’s going to win?
We got an old fashion quick draw at the OK corrall. The location happens to be at the MLS HQ in New York, not the dust bowl pictured above. MLS expansion has not always been the hot ticket it is today. In fact, there was a time when the league reduced in size to maintain stability. Hard to imagine that now as we see expansion fees surpass $250 million doll hairs.
So who’s up for the next round of MLS expansion?
In December MLS released a list of 10 finalists. The list of markets includes, in alphabetical order, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego, and Tampa-St. Petersburg.
Not exactly a murderer’s row there but a few locations stick out. Let’s discuss.
Tampa-St. Petersburg. In my opinion, you can throw this bid directly in the trash. Tampa already had a chance and blew it. However, if they can promise to bring back their FIRE jerseys and super star I’m in.
Nashville. The soccer pedigree is not there but everything else is. The city is bustling with young people and energy. The ownership group is motivated. It’s a short drive to Atlanta which could form a nice little rivalry. Selfishly I’m hoping this is the landing spot. These are for a different Nashville team but I like the starting point.
Cincinnati. If you haven’t been following the amazing support that the Cincinnati team is getting then you are missing out. This team is routinely drawings 20,000 fans and the support is rabid. I lived in Cincinnati when they tried to get the Kings going. 20k is no joke. This is a real opportunity.
Which brings me to St. Louis…
They will probably win a slot in the next round of expansion. St. Louis has always been a hotbed for soccer talent and tradition. The US Men’s National team plays games there regularly and they currently have a USL affiliate to the Chicago Fire playing now.
If we are doing a ‘Medal Stand’ from the Dropping Dimes Betting Podcast I would rank these bids as:
Gold: St Louis