- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 21, 2014
- 2 Comments
- MLS Expansion
Atlanta, Minneapolis, “Northern California”(aka Sacramento), San Diego and San Antonio. Those were the names thrown out yesterday deep in MLS commissioner Don Garber’s media call following the league’s purchase of Chivas USA.
Again, nothing new on any one city really but Garber did single two cities out more than he did the other.
Atlanta was first mentioned — Garber even using the word “bullish” — where Falcons owner Arthur Blank is heading group. Perhaps the best thing the bid has going for it is that Blank is planning to build a $1.2 billion stadium that could be reconfigured for soccer. This seems like an inevitability with Atlanta. Not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. My guess continues to be 2017, when the new stadium is set to open in Atlanta. Though it could end up being 2018 for all we know.
The next city Garber singled out was Minneapolis.
“That opportunity is one that we’re excited about as we believe we need more teams in the Midwest,” Garber said. “I think if Minneapolis as a market can continue to show the support that they’ve had for the NASL club [Minnesota United] and if they continue to make progress on a number of different stadium opportunities, there’s a real opportunity there.”
What’s particularly interesting about this is that Minnesota United was referenced, but not the Vikings. To me, that is a good thing to hear as this group is going after a smaller stadium and not a NFL venue that will be configured for soccer.
Now this isn’t all to say that the other three cities mentioned aren’t favorites of the league right now. The league recently toured San Antonio and continue to have discussions with the group there. The San Diego mention seems interesting to me, as we haven’t really heard about a new owner stepping up in that city just yet that has the money MLS is looking for here.