Major League Soccer will head to Nashville on Wednesday to make a “major announcement,” a strong indication that the city has been awarded an expansion franchise.
That leaves Sacramento competing with Cincinnati and Detroit for one other spot that MLS plans to announce by the end of the year. No news has been released on that expansion bid.
While not directly announcing that Nashville had been granted an expansion team, a press conference has been scheduled at the Country Music Hall of Fame with MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and John Ingram, the billionaire leading Nashville’s expansion bid.
Nashville came on strong in recent months to emerge as a top contender for expansion. Besides its deep-pocketed owner, the city also has a stadium plan approved by the Metro Council. It’s unclear when the Nashville franchise would first take the field.
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It’s also not known when – or if – Major League Soccer plans to announce the second expansion bid in this round. League officials have said they want to make the formal announcements with ceremonies in the winning cities.
Sacramento, Nashville, Cincinnati and Detroit were the four finalists that emerged from a field of 12 cities attempting to join Major League Soccer. The cities that don’t make the cut in this round will have another shot: MLS has said it plans to award two more expansion franchises in the future, but has not provided a time line for that decision.