St. Louis Not on List of Finalist Cities for MLS Expansion Teams

By on November 30, 2017

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  Major League Soccer has named four finalists for its next two expansion teams, and St. Louis is not one of them.

Cincinnati, Detroit, Sacramento and Nashville, Tenn., are the cities that made the cut, MLS said Wednesday. Those cities will present bids to the league on Dec. 6, and a decision is expected before the end of the year.

St. Louis’ failure to make the list wasn’t a surprise. In April, St. Louis voters rejected a use tax on businesses to help fund a downtown soccer stadium, and a league spokesman called the vote at the time “a significant setback” for the St. Louis bid.

St. Louis is still among the cities that made bids for an MLS expansion team that could someday get a team, however. In its statement Wednesday, MLS said there are a total of four expansion slots available for the league as it expands to 28 teams.

Other cities that made bids in January for an MLS team were Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis; Phoenix; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; San Antonio; San Diego; and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.

“While only Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento are being considered for the next two expansion teams, all remaining markets are under consideration for the following two expansion clubs that will be announced at a later date,” the MLS said in a statement.

Paul Edgerley, former managing director of Bain Capital Private Equity in Boston, is majority investor and chairman of SC STL, an ownership group behind the bid to bring an MLS team to St. Louis. Edgerley is a business partner with former Anheuser-Busch president David Peacock, who currently is president and chief operating officer of Maryland Heights-based Schnuck Markets.

Edgerley, who owns dozens of Jamba Juice franchises with Peacock, congratulated the four finalist cities in a statement and said given the outcome of the ballot measure in April, he was not surprised by MLS’ finalist decision Wednesday.

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