- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 31, 2013
- 3 Comments
- Features, MLS Expansion
Major League Soccer has decided to go big, real big.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber today announced that MLS plans to add four new expansion teams by the 2020 season. The announcement took place live during halftime shows of the league’s television broadcast partners at the AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Sporting Park in Kansas City.
“The strength, passion and vision of the MLS ownership group is the foundation behind the success of our league,” Commissioner Garber said. “We look forward to adding new partners with the same commitment to the sport and love of the game. As MLS enters a period of accelerated growth, the addition of new teams will allow us to expand our geographic coverage, grow our fan base and help us achieve our vision of being among the best leagues in the world by 2022.”
I’ll have more on this news tomorrow. Hearing good things that Orlando and Miami will naturally be up first for expansion in either 2015 or 2016.
The process to determine a future MLS expansion market will be selected on the basis of multiple criteria. Factors taken into consideration include:
- Committed and engaged ownership;
- A comprehensive stadium plan;
- Demonstrated fan support for professional soccer in the market;
- Support from sponsors, television partners and other constituents;
- Geographic location;
- A strategic business plan for the launch and successful operation of the club.
MLS has engaged in exploratory discussions with multiple markets and potential owners regarding future expansion. During the coming months, the League will provide additional details regarding the process and timeline for future expansion.
After that, all bets are off. Let the wild expansion race begin.