MLS Expansion Bid

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MLS Process

MLS announces expansion process and timeline

By Ben Couch | December 15, 2016

“The league acknowledged ownership groups from 10 markets have publicly expressed interest in securing an MLS expansion team: Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa/St. Petersburg.

Interested expansion owners must submit applications by Jan. 31, 2017. After review, a series of in-person meetings will take place during the first and second quarters of 2017.

Qualified applicants will submit documentation that focuses on the following three areas: 1) Ownership – Structure and financial informations; 2) Stadium – details on proposed site, financing, approvals and support; and 3) Financial Projections, Corporate Support and Soccer Support – a business plan, projections and commitment letters for naming rights and a jersey-front sponsor, along with an overview of support from the soccer community.

Three key aspects are considered top priorities when reviewing candidates:

A committed local ownership group that has a passion for the sport, a deep belief in Major League Soccer and the resources to invest in the infrastructure to build the sport in their respective market. A market that has a history of strong fan support for soccer matches and other sporting events, is located in a desirable geographic location and is attractive to corporate sponsors and television partners. A comprehensive stadium plan that ensures the club will have a proper home for their fans and players while also serving as a destination for the sport in the community.

Major League Soccer’s expansion committee consists of ownership representatives from five clubs including Jonathan Kraft (New England Revolution), Andrew Hauptman (Chicago Fire), Anthony Precourt (Columbus Crew SC), Phil Rawlins (Orlando City SC) and Jay Sugarman (Philadelphia Union).” - Source MLS Website

…Via Columbus, Ohio?

'February 20, 2017

In this piece, we explore the Columbus Crew considering a relocation to Austin. The origin of this story was a question by a member at our 1/29 meetup about Austin getting a team via relocation instead of expansion. We’ll preface this saying this is speculative — but we also have heard some things. We aren’t advocating a Columbus move or claim that they have stated publicly that they plan to. However, out of all the existing teams, they are statistically the only probable team to move outside of their current market. In short: It warrants a moment’s consideration. - Source MLS In Austin SG

Major League Soccer made Austin inquiries in September 2016, emails show

By Andrew Erickson | June 14 2018

On Sept. 29, 2016, Charles Altchek, special assistant to the MLS commissioner, emailed Mayor Steve Adler’s office looking to set up a phone call with Adler to introduce him to Major League Soccer deputy commissioner Mark Abbott and discuss “the league and some research that we will be doing in Austin.” … Two months later, Dan Barrett of Barrett Sports Group, which has since been acquired by CAA Icon, began reaching out to Austin city leaders and officials about the distribution of a Major League Soccer feasibility survey. - Source Dispatch

San Antonio

In 2015 San Antonio purchased Toyota Field for $18 million in order to ‘facilitate their expansion bid with MLS’. San Antonio is still waiting for their expansion bid to be accepted.

Wolff encouraged by MLS expansion news

By John Whisler | December 7, 2015

“It’s good to see the commissioner say that,” Wolff said. “The future of MLS in San Antonio is going to depend on how we come out of that process, a process that might play out in 2017, 2018 or 2019, somewhere in there. That’s why we want to get this deal done.” Source mySA

City approves purchase of Toyota Field, moves closer to MLS franchise

By Robert Taylor | December 17, 2015 …the city and county to split the $18 million, with with Spurs Sports and Entertainment contributing another $3 million, bringing the total purchase price to $21 million. - Source KSAT ABC 12

San Antonio City Council approves purchase of Toyota Field, furthers quest to land MLS team

MLSsoccer staff | December 17, 2015

San Antonio lined up the next step in their quest to land an MLS team on Thursday, as the city council unanimously approved the joint purchase of local soccer-specific stadium Toyota Field. - Source MLS Website

Wolff asks DA to investigate MLS in Toyota Field deal

By Brian Chasnoff | October 30, 2017

County officials were taken by surprise two weeks ago when they learned that Precourt was exploring relocating the Columbus Crew to Austin. Two years ago, Wolff and Bexar County Manager David Smith met with MLS Soccer President Mark Abbott, who encouraged them to purchase Toyota Field — an $18 million public investment — and submit a bid. Wolff and Smith also were told that MLS would not establish franchises in both Austin and San Antonio. - Source San Antonio Express News

MLS denies Wolff's claim that it misled San Antonio leaders on expansion

By W. Scott Bailey | October 30, 2017

“I was angry. I wanted to get the facts straight,” Wolff told me when asked what prompted his letter to Garber — delivered less than two weeks after Columbus Crew Chairman Anthony Precourt confirmed that Austin was his lone relocation option if the team is unable to secure a new stadium in its current market.

“We are in the process of reviewing the letter and preparing a formal response,” the league said in a statement shared first with the San Antonio Business Journal, while nevertheless saying: “We strongly disagree with Judge Wolff’s assertion that we misled either him or any public official about the prospects for San Antonio acquiring an MLS expansion team.” - Source San Antonio Business Journal

Major League Soccer made Austin inquiries in September 2016, emails show

By Andrew Erickson | June 14 2018

In February 2017, after the 12 expansion applicants for MLS teams 24 through 28 were announced, Barrett emailed Adler and others thanking them for the January meeting. He also noted the content of San Antonio’s bid material. “I thought it was interesting, though not surprising, that San Antonio referenced Austin in their video,” Barrett wrote. “As Mark (Abbott) mentioned during the meeting, the fact that Austin did not submit a proposal does not mean that it will not have an opportunity for a franchise in the future. We look forward to continuing our research and our discussions with you.“ - Source Dispatch