3 Things to Know as #MLS4TheLou Tries to Seal Bid for MLS Club

By on April 20, 2019

From St. Louis Business Journal:  St. Louis is poised to land an MLS expansion team after a major decision Thursday by the league’s owners, but there is still work to be done by local ownership group #MLS4THELOU to make it a done deal.

At a Thursday meeting in Los Angels, the league’s board of governors decided MLS will expand to 30 teams, beyond its previously targeted amount of 28 clubs. That decision positions St. Louis to be awarded an MLS club in the upcoming months.

While the board of governors, which consists of two representatives from each MLS team and is responsible for selecting expansion markets, did not make any decisions Thursday regarding specific expansion franchises, the league said in a statement the “commissioner’s office was authorized to advance discussions with Sacramento and St. Louis ownership groups regarding their bids.”

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said the league “will deal exclusively with St. Louis and Sacramento for teams 28 and 29.” In remarks to the media, Garber outlined an expansion timeline and discussed what’s ahead for the St. Louis and Sacramento ownership groups.

Here are three key takeaways from his comments.

Expansion timeline 

Following Thursday’s decision, MLS invited the ownership groups from St. Louis and Sacramento to make formal presentations to the league’s expansion committee. Those meetings will likely take place in the next couple of weeks, Garber said. Topics will include each bid’s final stadium plan, corporate commitments, the composition of the respective ownership groups, detailed economics on funding, strategic plans for fan development, commitments on player development and details on community programs.

And after previously saying there’s no “specific timetable” on expansion, Garber on Thursday said MLS hopes to have a final decision on teams 28 and 29 made before the league’s All-Star Game at the end of July.

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