Mayor: Committee declines county offer to deed Memorial Stadium for MLS

Mayor: Committee declines county offer to deed Memorial Stadium for MLS

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In what appears to be another blow in bringing Major League Soccer (MLS) to the Queen City, the Charlotte mayor said the committee declined Thursday to use the property solely for MLS use.

Jennifer Roberts tweeted around 1:42 p.m. Thursday that the "county offer to deed Memorial Stadium to City has contingency that it must be for MLS." The committee then voted to decline the county offer, according to Roberts.

County leaders delayed a vote on the matter in June until they heard from city leaders.  The county wanted an answer by August 1, but that did not happen.

Mecklenburg County voted on August 2 to wash their hands of the project. They approved giving Memorial Stadium to the City of Charlotte and let council members make the MLS decision.

Such a proposition means that Charlotte would have to pony up tens of millions of dollars to lure and land a MLS franchise.

MLS4CLT released this statement Thursday:

"We are confident there is a solution that will bring Major League Soccer to Charlotte and are working hard to make this happen. To win an expansion club, we need a strong public-private partnership to demonstrate Charlotte's enthusiasm for the sport and league. We remain convinced that Major League Soccer would bring jobs, entertainment and economic benefits that will add to the region's vitality."

Jim Puckett, the vice chairman of the Mecklenburg County Commission, released this statement:

"It is my understanding that the Charlotte City Council decided today not to take the option for the deed of Memorial Stadium from the county in the hope of landing a Major League Soccer team.  I would simply say that if the city has no need for the stadium as related to MLS I am hopeful we can revisit the chance to engage with the Charlotte Independence for a renovation that will be a great asset for the county.  In as much as the county would still like to participate via the donation of the stadium site as part of an attempt to land a MLS team we will remain willing to make the stadium available to the city.  As I and others stated when we decided on our level of participation we believe the city is in the best position to decide the proper path."

A new meeting has been scheduled for September 14.

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