Hopeful Charlotte reps meet with MLS brass about expansion

Hopeful Charlotte reps meet with MLS brass about expansion

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte got another chance to make its case to Major League Soccer for expansion to the Queen City.

The league released a statement Monday saying representatives from the city's expansion bid met with the league.

Representatives from the bid backed by Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper met with officials Monday in New York to provide an update, the league said. The ownership group for Charlotte will join other expansion groups at the MLS All-Star week later this month.

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Charlotte City Councilman James Mitchell said Tepper has shown his commitment to the community.

“I think it will be an easy lift for City Council once it’s called upon to really get behind his bid for MLS in our great city,” Mitchell said Tuesday.

Charlotte is competing with St. Louis, Sacramento and Las Vegas.

In April, St. Louis released renderings showing what its privately funded stadium would look like.

Sacramento's City Council approved plans in April for an incentive package to build a stadium but both needed to be finalized.

There are at least 60 companies willing to spend $100,000 annually to buy luxury suites at the Bank of America Stadium if Charlotte gets an MLS team, our partners at the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

Tepper has hired team president Tom Glick, who has run English soccer teams and launched an MLS team in 2015.

The league has already voted to expand to 30 teams. The league currently has 24 teams. Inter Miami and Nashville begin play next season, and Austin arrives in 2021.

An expansion fee to join the league could be as high as $200 million.

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