Expansion fees set to hit record high

Expansion fees set to hit record high

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 28, 2014

Anymore I leave it to guys like Brian Straus at SI.com for filling in the gaps that I’m unable to get information on.

Straus’ latest report on the MLS expansion race is a pretty big one as he is reporting that not only are expansion fees set to hit around $100 million going forward but that the LAFC side that was recently announced paid a record fee of $110 million.

That is a far cry from the $10 or so million that teams were paying not even a decade ago to enter the league. Impressive.

The report also goes into each of the expansion hopefuls like Sacramento, Minnesota and Las Vegas, all of whom met with the league and some select owners last week in New York.

When will we know anything? It could be next week but likely it will be next year.

Garber released the following statement on the expansion process too:

“We had productive expansion meetings today with representatives from Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Sacramento. We were impressed with the presentations made by each group. Following our MLS Board of Governors meeting on Dec. 6, we will provide an update on the expansion process and timeline.”

I would be a bit shocked to hear any actual announcement next month at that meeting about a new expansion club. Straus’ mention of a March-April of 2015 time seems to go with what I heard recently that an announcement would likely take place around the middle of April, though it could be May or June depending on how things are going in Miami.

I’ve also been told that should things continue to not progress in Miami that the league could very well go ahead and award and additional expansion slot to one of the current contenders if the money and stadium situations are resolved. That doesn’t mean that Miami will be left out all together but it could mean that they push through the 24 team barrier.

More and more it seems like the league would be fine at getting to 26 teams now rather than the 24 goal. MLS will still get to 24 by the end of the decade, that much will happen. But the longer things get delayed in Miami and if these bids continue to entice the league like they currently are, MLS take the money and continue to expand.

We all know 26 teams seems like too many for a league but MLS is totally fine with being as large as they want to.