MLS meeting Thursday to discuss expansion, Charlotte

MLS meeting Thursday to discuss expansion, Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Expansion and the city of Charlotte will be discussed during a Major League Soccer Board of Governors meeting Thursday in Brooklyn. A MLS spokesperson though said no timeline has been finalized on an announcement about which city/proposal will be granted a franchise.

“Multiple potential expansion markets, including Charlotte, will be discussed at the league’s Board of Governors meetings on Dec. 5,” MLS Executive Vice President of Communications Dan Courtemanche wrote in an email.

Courtemanche said that MLS Commissioner Don Garber would be available to answer questions from the media afterward.

Garber previously told reporters that Charlotte had moved its way to the front of the line with its bid for an MLS team.

No announcement would be made in Brooklyn, however. Courtemanche says any announcement about a new franchise would take place from that city.

“Any announcement of a future MLS expansion club will take place in the city of the new team. A timeline to announce Major League Soccer’s 30th club has not been finalized.”

WBTV has previously reported that city council has been presented with options to renovate Bank of America Stadium into a soccer specific stadium for a future MLS team. The proposal from Carolina Panther’s owner David Tepper’s team would require council to authorize $100 million or more in tourism tax funds.

Sources tell WBTV that council won’t vote on the renovation package at tonight’s swearing-in ceremony but plan to in the very near future. Other sources have told WBTV that council would note vote on the proposal until it is confirmed that the MLS is awarding the bid to Charlotte.

Courtemanche also said it wasn’t unusual for expansion to be talked about during the board of governors meeting as it had been on the agenda at each of the previous meetings for the last 15 years.

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