MLS Expansion Update Dec 2019


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May 13, 2002
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Chandler, Az
This is a little old but still relevant

Phoenix and Las Vegas Could be Next
Don Garber confirmed that “the league is still in discussions with Phoenix, the other city that submitted a bid back in 2017, and Las Vegas, which emerged as an expansion contender earlier in 2019.” If those cities are let in, that would bring the league to 32 teams. Previously MLS has said they’ll stop at various lower numbers, mostly recently it was 28 before it was 30. It likely won’t stop as long as owners are willing to pay huge sums of money.

$600 Million Expansion Fees
If and when the amount of teams go up, expect the expansion fees to climb with it. Glenn Crooks of the On Frame Podcast had on a guest who claimed teams 31 and 32 would have to pay $600 million to get into MLS.

That is triple what St. Louis and Sacramento will pay and about double what Charlotte may pay. Not to mention 60 times what Real Salt Lake paid in 2005 ($10 million).

$600M sounds way too high for a MLS team. How will these new teams be able to compete against the other teams that only paid $200M a couple of years ago.

Charlotte, North Carolina
David Tepper — owner of the NFL’s Carolina Panthersjust bought his way into MLS (The Athletic breaks down where that money goes). He paid a stunning $325 million to get in. That’s $125 million more than St. Louis and Sacramento who were just announced for $200 million in recent months. Their fees were $50 million higher than FC Cincinnati just paid to get in. The fees are really out of control.

Another point that was confirmed is that Charlotte will jump the line and come in with Austin FC in 2021 ahead of both St. Louis and Sacramento in 2022.