MLS Expansion: Competition in Minnesota Heats Up

MLS Expansion: Competition in Minnesota Heats Up

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On January 7, 2014
  • Features, Minnesota Expansion, MLS Expansion

The MLS expansion race continues forward in 2014. While we await news out of the south with Atlanta and Miami, the talk in Minnesota is beginning to heat up a good bit.

A Minnesota TV station is reporting that NASL’s Minnesota United FC are joining forces with MLB’s Twins to explore the possibilities of landing an MLS team, a move that could pit them against the local NFL’s Vikings in the quest to land a franchise in the Twin Cities.

This news goes hand-in-hand with two previous reports that this group was looking at Sporting KC’s stadium just last week.

The new Vikings stadium is scheduled to open in 2016, will have a capacity of approximately 65,000 and is expected to have a field that has dimensions for a soccer field  suitable for MLS play. Owners Zigy and Mark Wilf have been in discussions in the past with MLS about a team in their new stadium.

This news is good for the league as this city likely be going head-to-head with groups from San Antonio, Sacramento, St. Louis, and others for the 24th expansion spot in MLS. The league is likely to expand to Miami and Atlanta first with the 22nd and 23rd spots, leaving this last open spot left to the highest bidder.

I would love to see a MLS team in this area for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think it would work well there and second of all, getting a closer rival for Chicago is a big deal for the league. I’d also take this new group from MUFC and the Twins over the NFL group, just on the likelihood that the stadium will be more suitable for a MLS team. Not everyone can play in a NFL venue like the Seattle Sounders and get away with it. I don’t think Minnesota would be able to fit in a NFL venue, even if the field dimensions are suitable for MLS play.