LOS ANGELES (CBS13) – The owners of existing Major League Soccer teams met in Los Angeles Tuesday to discuss expansion but didn’t take a vote.
Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento are competing for an available expansion slot. Nashville was previously granted an expansion bid. At the time, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Sacramento “has some things to finalize with their ownership group.”
On Tuesday the MLS Board of Governors said Cincinnati City Council’s recent vote on the West End stadium is a “positive step forward” for the city’s expansion bid. On Monday the Cincinnati City Council voted 5-4 to approve $34.8 million in infrastructure, including building a 21,000-seat stadium. Several reports say the team owners will pay $212.5 million for the stadium.
In January, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg asked MLS Commissioner Don Garber to name a dollar figure for Sacramento’s investor group to hit. He also asked if the group reaches that amount if the commissioner would award Sacramento a team, regardless of the bids from Detroit or Cincinnati.
Mayor Steinberg did rule out using public financing as part of the investment bid.
After Nashville was awarded a team in December, Mayor Steinberg acknowledged Sacramento’s deal needs more capital. The CEO of Sacramento Republic FC, Kevin Nagle, outlined a 3-part plan to strengthen our bid: bring in a new major investor, add additional limited partners and mobilize community support.
At one point Sacramento was considered a front-runner to get an expansion team. The Sacramento Republic FS currently plays in the USL.