Where Should MLS Expand Next?

Our discussion of MLS expansion drew some interesting responses. So we thought it worth asking the question directly, where should MLS expand next?  We have discussed the merits of New York, Las Vegas, Atlanta and more over the years.  Tell us what you think?

In the comments section, tell us why.

11 Responses

  1. they need a team in the south hence i vote for atlanta. But really if I were the mls one has to go where the most support will be i.e. the place that will fill the seats in the stadium

  2. Minnesota has always had a history of soccer dating back to the old NASL. Expand team there (no, I’m not from Minnesota or the US). Move Chivas LA to San Diego. Why would you put another franchise in New York when they still can’t sell out on a regular basis?

  3. Phoenix, for the selfish reason that I live here. A big market.

  4. I vote Memphis, it’s a perfect central location for the undiscovered hotbed of talent in that region not to mention it’s not a bad soccer town. (Memphis Super Clubs tournament)

  5. NY2 is the moneymaker for the league, and that’s where they’ll go. Although, Orlando could get one in 5-10 years if their lower division team keeps its trajectory. I’d love St. Louis to have a team due to their soccer history and commitment but that’s a question of having someone with deep pockets and good business judgement..not there in this climate.

  6. Minnesota has the history as well as a downtown stadium site that is about to become tenantless (Metrodome–although it would have to be renovated). NASL attendance dominance as well as one of the most stable and long-lived division 2 franchises in the country. Timing is good there also as the Wolves, Vikings, Twins and Wild all stink.

  7. Detroit. Geographically well placed btw 3 current teams, facility is available today (though owners plan a major rework of Silverdome), Detroit huge sports town, a top 20 media market.

  8. San Diego. The Chargers might leave and the soccer can start from scratch at Qualcomm. If they can get any traction whatsoever then they can bring in more people than the league because of the bigger stadium (and can travel easier to Mexico for friendlies).

    But I doubt people in San Diego could cough up the cash.

  9. The question of where can, should or will MLS expand will only be answered by a market who can fulfill the following criteria;

    – to cover the franchise fee & long-term annual operating costs
    – to control all revenue streams & event dates
    – (I’d wager that ESPN was very supportive of going to Philly!)
    – a prelaunch campaign of actually PAID season ticket deposits would be a good indicator of interest.

    With their previous history, any ownership group in Florida will have to go a LONG way to convince the MLS front office to go back there.

    Minnesota could be interesting BUT they would have to show solid investment & market support. I also think that a shared stadium situation would want to be avoided if possible.

    Las Vegas might be fun or attractive in the short term, but I would think that the league would consider other markets first.

    St. Louis has been on the expansion radar before, but a well-funded ownership group needs to be the cornerstone of any bid from here….I think that San Diego falls into the same category. (I get the impression that they would also face more competition from fans of the Mexican League in this market, but I could be wrong).

    I do not know much about the San Antonio market, or possible interest there, so I would defer to others.

    That brings it to Atlanta & NYC2 – I think that MLS would consider Atlanta to get a presence in the region but it’s all comes back to a financially solid ownership group & bid plan.

    As for NYC2 (first, I’ll admit I live here), I would think that IF the right combination of ownership group & facility development could come together, that MLS will expand here.

    For those not from this area, Red Bull Arena is NOT considered part of NYC – though it is physically close, for most people who live in New York City, an inner city team would be an entirely different market. A facility in Queens (considered the most diverse population) would also draw from Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Westchester and Fairfield (CT) Counties and the very strong soccer market of Long Island because the area is accessable by public transporation (subway, bus, train) and major highways.

    MLS has reached a level where they don’t HAVE to expand but will look to where it is most advantagious for them to grow. I think that they will only do so if-and-when they receive a bid that meets the above criteria.

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