Sacramento Close To New MLS Expansion Deal, But St. Louis Still In The Running
St. Louis and Sacramento are both making moves to secure an MLS expansion team, but the future for each city is still unclear.
Back in April 2016, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber had said that he wanted to decide on Sacramento’s bid for an expansion team before Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson left office. That is only a few weeks away, and nothing has happened.
Yet, there may be hope for the city. MLS has several meetings planned over the next few weeks: one in New York for the second week of November to discuss the impact of expansion on the league, the other scheduled for the beginning of December to debate the state of the league.
This is all good news for the city, as well as Sacramento’s own moves. To accommodate their 19,000+ soccer stadium, they opened a new downtown railyard in August. Sacramento is clearly prepared to become the next expansion city, but nothing has happened – yet.
Looking at the renderings of the proposed stadium in the downtown railyard, you can see why Sacramento Republic FC and its fans are excited.
The Proposed MLS Expansion Stadium In Sacramento
St. Louis Makes Its Own Pitch
While Sacramento has gotten most of the attention from fans and professionals of MLS expansion teams, St. Louis is also making its own play. At the end of October, a local group released renderings for a new MLS stadium in a bid to bring soccer to the city. The group, known as the Foundry St. Louis, is headed by former Express Scripts executive, Dan Cordes.
Per the plan, the stadium would have 22,500 seats and would cost between $135 and $150 million. Most of the money would come from private fund as well as tax help from the city and state. MLS Commissioner Garber has also expressed interest in St. Louis eventually getting an expansion team.
What Can We Expect?
St. Louis is too early in the planning phase to ensure that they will receive a team – at least for the foreseeable future. The group has the money to support the team, but it may take a year or so to convince MLS that they’re truly ready.
Sacramento, on the other hand, should receive MLS’ blessing soon. If it doesn’t come before the end of 2016, look for it within the first quarter or two of 2017.