MLS Still Planning For December Decision On Expansion; Detroit Bid Making Progress
MLS Commissioner Don Garber on Thursday indicated that the league is planning to "proceed with its expected December announcements" for the two latest expansion clubs, according to Patrick Brennan of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. MLS Exec VP/Communications Dan Courtemanche "confirmed" that position in an email, saying, "nothing has changed" regarding the December timeline. Brennan notes with MLS' expected December announcement for expansion decisions fast approaching, the "serious contenders among the original pool of 12 applicants are racing to smooth out their proposals for MLS" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/6).
MOTOR CITY MOMENTUM: In Detroit, Katrease Stafford in a front-page piece reports Mayor Mike Duggan confirmed the city is "helping" Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert and Pistons Owner Tom Gores "lure" a MLS franchise. Duggan's affirmation of support comes "hours after the announcement of a tentative deal between the city and Wayne County to swap" the 1.4-million-square-foot former American Motors HQ in Detroit "in exchange for 11 acres of city-owned land needed to build a new criminal justice complex." The acquisition of the city-owned land was "crucial" in order to move Gilbert's Rock Ventures proposal forward. But Duggan said that the land swap is an "entirely separate issue and not indicative of any progress made to build a soccer stadium at the unfinished jail site." Gilbert and Gores "hope to build a 23,000-seat stadium at the site." The investment has been "estimated" at $1B (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/6). Also in Detroit, Tony Paul reported Gores' Palace Sports & Entertainment on Sept. 27 "filed a request with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the use of the name, 'Motor City Soccer Club.'" PS&E also "scooped up several domain names tied to that name, including motorcitysc.com." This follows PS&E's filing on July 6 for the name, "Detroit City Soccer Club," and the "subsequent purchase of associated web domains" (DETROITNEWS.com, 10/5).
GROUNDS SWELL OF SUPPORT: In Nashville, Joey Garrison reports supporters of the city's fairgrounds on Thursday "blasted Mayor Megan Barry's proposal" for a $250M MLS stadium during a "public comment session provided by the Metro fair board." The "packed meeting" drew around 200 spectators, and speakers "gave an earful, making clear their distaste for a plan that would dramatically overhaul the site." Several "criticized plans to give 10 acres" to John Ingram's prospective MLS ownership group for a "future mixed-use development, with some calling it a 'gift' of public land that shirks the duties" of the fair board. A few "accused the administration of ramming the project through without doing their homework" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/6).